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women's soccer in Argentina

The Fight for Equality in Football: The Voice of an Argentine Soccer Player

I started playing soccer when I was 10 years old. At that time, for a woman to play ball was not common and also not accepted by society. That is why I had to settle for participating, from time to time, in neighborhood games with my older brother, Emanuel. He always supports me and encourages me to continue with my dream of being a soccer player. It was not easy, I must admit. Living in a country as macho as Argentina made it even more complicated.

I had the opportunity to train and play with children from the club in my town, but the dream ended soon since they did not allow women to play with men in official tournaments. In Argentina, and probably in other countries, being a woman is synonymous with struggle. A constant fight and not only in the sports branch. Being a businesswoman, merchant, entrepreneur, doctor, or any other job for us costs twice as much and that is reflected in our bank account each month. In Argentina, the wage gap reached 27.7% in March. This means a woman must work 8 days and 10 hours more to earn the same as a man in a month.

If we take it to football this number is even higher. And more in Argentina. Only 55% of women in the first division are “professionals”, but our salary does not even reach 2% of what men earn for doing exactly the same. According to the Argentine Soccer Association (AFA), the basic salary for women is the same as that received by a player from the First C (lowest category of professional men’s soccer), and this is around $85,000 Argentine pesos (less than 100 Dollars).

Many will wonder why women simply cannot earn the same as men. And there come comments like “they don’t play soccer as well” and that’s why we don’t generate as much money as men since their soccer is, according to the majority of the population, more entertaining and that’s why they generate more.

But that changed and continues to change. The Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand set records for attendance in stadiums and viewers. The final

between Spain and England was watched by 75,758 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney and almost 6,000,000 million people watched it on television in Spain. Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, claimed that they generated the second-highest revenue of any sport, apart from the men’s World Cup, globally.

It is more than clear that women’s football, both in Argentina and in the world, is not a matter of gender. It only takes more interest from society and from the clubs so that they continue to invest in women’s sports. More equality so that women have the right to be 100% professional soccer players.

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