Banyana Banyana’s success at this year’s Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana has raised an important debate in the country.
It is known – and has been for years – that female sportspeople earn far less than their male counterparts. But now calls for equality have reached a new crescendo.
It’s common sense – which unfortunately is not such a common commodity – that all humans be treated equally and remunerated equally for doing the same job.
And it is definitely not only in sport where there are disparities. But as is shown in our sports section week after week, prize money for male sportspeople is usually a lot more than females receive.
An example is the pool prize money for this year’s Fifa World Cup, which was a whopping $400 million (R5.5 billion).
But for the women teams that make it to France next year for the female version of the event, the winners will share a measly $15 million (R206 million).
We urge government to make it a law that people get the same remuneration for doing the same job.
We also appeal to South African sports federations to level the playing fields by having an equal payment benchmark for any player that makes it to any national team.
As a country that prides itself on having one of the best democratic constitutions, a nation that strives for equality and democracy, we can’t at
the same time send a message that our daughters – no matter how talented – are lesser gods than
However, for this to happen, we need change in the nation’s mind-set.
There are still many people – mostly men – who think gender equality is a pipe dream and something that will not happen in our lifetime.
We should all be gender equality activists, 24/7 and 365 days of the year.