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Nepal gives women’s national football team equal pay

Kathmandu (AFP) – Nepal’s football governing body is to give the national women’s football team a 150 percent pay hike so that their wages are equal with men — even though their world ranking is way ahead.

Nepal joins a short list of federations — including England, Brazil, Australia, Norway and New Zealand — who have made a public commitment pay their male and female internationals the same amount.

For years, Nepal’s women have earned less than half of what the men’s team have taken home. Their results have been considerably better though.

They were runners-up at the South Asian Games and South Asian championship last year and are ranked 99th in the world. The men have not won a game for more than a year and are ranked 171st.

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) spokesman Kiran Rai told AFP that from January the wage for the 20 women in the national squad would go from about $60 a month to $153, while the men’s wage would go to the same amount from $128.

“Nepal has been a patriarchal country for a long time,” said Nepal’s all-time highest women’s scorer Sabitra Bhandari. “The decision has made us really happy.”

Rai added that while the increase was to end discrimination against women it was also to “honour their excellent performances and good results.”

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