Lauren Jackson speaks out for Women in Sport

“Australian sportswomen are being exploited and should consider going public to demand better pay,” Lauren Jackson says.

The champion basketballer threw her support behind the Matilda’s last week, saying that more sportswomen should consider taking action to improve their remuneration and conditions.

The ongoing issue has sparked interest nationally and globally, with the pay gap between men and women in professional sports being a serious issue that needs to be constantly worked on and improved upon in order to bring about any systematic and fundamental change.

The issue has been of great interest recently as the Australian women’s soccer team (Matildas) have been in a messy dispute with Football Federation Australia (FFA) which has seen their upcoming tour of the USA axed.

Jackson said in a statement that the Matildas were bringing attention to the lack of equality in the treatment of women across sports.

“The Matildas are putting it out there and it’s something that other codes definitely need to think about,” she said.

Australian’s are renowned for their love of sport, with many even citing it as ‘Australia’s religion’, so in a nation full of sports fanatics, why are we so behind the times when it comes to equality? Gender disparity is something that women have had to face for far too long in many industries, so its really about time that the necessary action is taken in order to combat it.

Jackson also spoke about how the salaries and match fees offered to Australian sports women do not at all reflect their standings in the world rankings. The Matildas are ranked 9th in the world, which is certainly a lot higher than that of their male counterparts, the Soceroos.

“We put our bodies on the line like the men do, just like the men do, and I think there needs to be recognition and support in the way of remuneration,” she said.

Matildas defender Laura Alleway said it was “semi-embarrassing to be offered anything less than [minimum wage], as women, as women in sport,” she said.

Under their last agreement with FFA, the Matildas earned a salary of $21,000 a year, plus additional payments such as a base fee for international matches of $500. Although the men’s salary works differently, their basic match payment for an international was $6000.

“Hopefully this will start something, in all women’s sport in Australia and over the world, enough’s enough,” Alleway said.

Diahann x

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