Norway ranks third on the World Economic Forum’s gender equality list.
Image via FIFATV/YouTube.
THE GOOD NEWS:
Norway's decision to pay both its teams equally is unheard of in the sports world.
A 2016 study by the World Economic Forum found that progress is still “too slow” on the worldwide effort to reduce the gender pay gap. One profession where the gap seems insurmountable is the world of sports.
Forbes recently released its list of the highest paid athletes in 2017 and there was only one woman on it: Serena Williams. The tennis star made $27 million last year — but in comparison, the highest paid man, soccer mega-star Christiano Ronaldo pocketed nearly quadruple that — $93 million.
The country of Norway just took a big step towards reducing its pro sports pay gap by doing something unheard of: paying its men’s and women’s national teams equally.
The decision is extraordinary because it came directly from the Norwegian Football Association on its own accord and not as the result of protests from the women’s team.
In December, the men’s and women’s captains — Stefan Johansen and Maren Mjelde — and representatives of the Norwegian Football Association, and Norway’s Players’ Association signed an agreement that gives the women’s team a 2.5 million kroner ($315,450) raise. As a result, both teams will receive $726,900 in 2018.
The decision isn’t a total shock, given the fact that Norway is ranked third on the World Economic Forum’s gender equality rankings. Mona Juul, Norway’s ambassador to the UK, hopes the deal will inspire other nations to do the same.
“The agreement that guarantees equal pay for national teams is historic and important for Norwegian football,” Juul told CNN. “I hope that the agreement can also be internationally inspired and I am proud to host this opportunity.”