US lawmakers back equal pay for women players

Washington (AFP) – US lawmakers joined calls for the United States women’s soccer team to receive equal pay on Thursday, adopting a resolution demanding an end to the gender wages gap.

The Senate passed a non-binding resolution from Democratic Senator Patty Murray urging the US Soccer Federation (USSF) ensure the World Cup-winning women’s team was fairly compensated.

“I am extremely proud that my Senate colleagues have adopted this resolution —these are great words of support for women across the country,” Murray said after the resolution’s passage.

In March, five members of the US women’s team filed a complaint against US Soccer alleging wage discrimination.

The women’s team received $2 million for winning last year’s World Cup in Vancouver. The US men’s team lost in the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and received $9 million.

Addressing the Senate on Thursday, Murray said the resolution wasn’t “just about the money.”

“It’s also about the message it sends to women and girls across our country and the world,” Murray said.

“The pay gap between the men and women’s national soccer teams is emblematic of what is happening all across our country. 

“On average, women get paid just 79 cents for every dollar a man makes … The wage gap isn’t just unfair to women. It hurts families. And it hurts our economy.”

The resolution, which has mostly symbolic value by putting public pressure on US Soccer officials, is part of a broader campaign to address the gender pay gap.

Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee, called on lawmakers to pass Senator Barbara Mikulski’s Paycheck Fairness Act.

“I hope Republicans will support equal pay for equal work for all American women with more than just words and will work with us to pass Senator Mikulski’s Paycheck Fairness Act as quickly as possible,” she said.

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