August 01, 2019

Shaheen, Hassan Call for FIFA to Provide Pay Equity for Female Soccer Athletes

(Washington, DC) –This week, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in introducing a Senate Resolution calling on the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to immediately eliminate gender-based pay discrimination between male and female athletes. 

In July, the U.S. Women’s National Team notched its second consecutive World Cup win and fourth overall. Yet the team’s award for winning – $4 million – is just 10.5 percent of the award given to 2018 World Cup winning men’s team, which received $38 million.  In fact, FIFA awarded the teams that lost in the first round of the 2018 Men’s World Cup $4 million more in prizes than it will award the U.S. Women’s National Team for winning the 2019 World Cup.

The resolution, which calls on FIFA to immediately eliminate gender pay inequity, is cosponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Carper (D-DE), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

“This isn’t complicated: women should be paid the same as men for doing the same work, and that standard should apply to every job – from the boardroom to the pitch,” said Shaheen. “I’m proud to support this resolution and stand with our female athletes to demand equal pay for equal work. It’s past time that we close the wage gap to ensure our women’s team is paid what they’ve earned and what they deserve.”

“The fact that in 2019 this resolution has to exist is absurd,” Senator Hassan said. “I will continue to fight to ensure that all women - regardless of their profession - are paid equally for equal work.”

Shaheen joined letters signed by the majority of Senate Democrats in March 2019 and June 2016 calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation to provide equal pay to its athletes. Shaheen also introduced the Even Playing Field Act, legislation to ensure equal pay, investment and working conditions for U.S. national team athletes, coaches and other personnel. In addition, after the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s World Cup victory earlier this month, Shaheen led a letter on behalf of the bipartisan women of the Senate extending an invitation to meet with the women of the Senate during the team’s upcoming visit to the U.S. Capitol to discuss the challenges women face on and off the field.

In 2016, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution calling for the U.S. Soccer Federation to immediately eliminate gender pay inequity and treat all athletes with the same respect and dignity. Despite that resolution and other efforts, the pay gap has persisted. 

The text of the resolution is available HERE.

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