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US women's soccer players file complaint over wage discrimination

[JURIST] Five members of the US women's soccer team said Thursday that have filed an equal pay complaint [text, PDF] against the US Soccer Federation [official website] with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) [official website]. The players, Carli Lloyd, Beck Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo, are alleging wage discrimination and citing figures from last year showing that they were paid almost four times less than men's players. Lloyd stated [WP report] that "the pay disparity between men and women is just too large, and we want to continue to fight. The generation of players before us fought, and we want to continue the fight." The women note that have been more successful both on and off the field than their male counterparts, winning more games and bringing in more revenue.

The wage gap between genders has been an issue in many different areas both domestically and intentionally. The California legislature found a 16-cent wage gap between men's and women's pay in 2014 and a wage gap of 44 cents between Latina women and white men. Nationally, the gender wage gap was estimated to be 78 cents [White House Council of Economic Advisors report, PDF] in 2014. The gender pay gap [JURIST op-ed] is an issue in other countries as well. A group of UN experts on the issue of discrimination against women reported [JURIST report] in March that "no country has achieved full substantive equality of women." In March the UK House of Lords debated a bill [JURIST report] passed through Parliament that would require certain businesses to reveal whether there are differences in the pay of male and female employees. In contemplation of International Women's Day on March 8, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU) revealed [press release] that women, on average, earned 16 percent less than men in the EU, and that the UK has the sixth-largest gender pay gap within the EU.

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