Cricket Australia’s pledge to provide prize parity for their women after Sunday’s Twenty20 World Cup final, a move that is being hailed as a potential spur for change in other sports.
Last year the ICC announced a 360 per cent increase in overall prize money for the Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, but it stll falls some distance short of what the men earn.
Australia’s women will pocket $1.51 million from the ICC if they win Sunday’s decider against India, some $900,000 short of the men’s prize money. Second place receives $US500,000 ($753,000).
However CA promised last year to pay that gap regardless of Australia’s result in the tournament.
It would make cricket something of a rarity in team sports, which has lagged behind when it comes to female pay; prize money parity is more common in individual sports, like tennis.
Teams at last year’s women’s FIFA World Cup were playing for just 7.5 per cent of the prize money on offer at the previous year’s men’s tournament.
The US women have been fighting since 2016 for equality with their male counterparts and are seeking backpay totalling nearly $67 million.
Star player and World Cup-winner Megan Rapinoe recently expressed her thanks for the support received from the men’s team.
When I took on the fight for equal pay, countless people told me to shut up & play soccer. This #IWD2020, to honor the voices that were never heard, let’s make ours that much louder. Excited to be featured alongside these amazing women @Apple #BehindTheMac https://t.co/ikIGXgyw4B
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) March 6, 2020
Women’s Sports Australia deputy chair Gen Simmons believed CA’s promise had sparked conversations in other sports towards the same movement.
“It’s quite a bold thing to do, and it’s definitely caused a bit of a current through the sports network (by) just showing how committed Cricket Australia are to having gender equality,” Simmons told AAP.
“From a Women’s Sports Australia perspective, we hope this can become a landmark what Cricket Australia have done and that other sports can follow.
“Obviously it’s a bit different on finances for different sports … Maybe you’re not going to match the prize money the men are getting.
“But to take steps to show what you are aiming for and we are hoping we will get to this point.”
The ICC said last year they have a long-term commitment towards providing prize parity themselves.
Positive moves have already been made, with the prize money for this year’s women’s tournament being 320 per cent higher than for the last one in the Caribbean.
“Sport has a unique role to play in influencing and leading the way on gender equality,” CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said.
“Prize parity is just one part of the gender equation but a very symbolic one when it comes to demonstrating a willingness to invest, and the recognition of skill and effort regardless of gender.
“Cricket Australia is proud to play its part in developing a pathway and vision for gender equality in Australian sport.
“While it’s important to celebrate the significant progress achieved for girls and women who play cricket today, there is still more to be done.”