Women’s Sports: Spanish female footballers set to strike over pay

In Spanish women’s football, players have voted to strike over limited working hours and minimum wages which will take place in November.

The upcoming strike will be the first in the history of Spanish women’s football as female athletes continue to fight for greater equality. 

After failed negotiations with clubs in the first division over disagreements surrounding working-hour limits and minimum salaries, around 200 players met in Madrid to vote in favour of the strike.

Athletic Bilbao captain, Ainhao Tirapu, said in response to the clubs’ decision to limit working hours to 20-per-week, “We are footballers 24 hours a day, 100% of the time.” With players wanting at least 30 hours guaranteed, she added: “We have to fight for our rights.”

“It’s not just money – we have lowered our red lines, but nothing has been achieved. Now we can fight and we are paving the way for other players. We must not be inactive.”

Changes to the working hours would give players a minimum wage higher than the €16,000 currently offered by clubs. However, female players are still being paid far less than their male counterparts in their league and international competitions.

The rapid growth of women’s football in Spain accelerated after the 2015 World Cup when the country made its first appearance in the tournament. Since then, interest in women’s football has increased with spectator numbers at matches rising steadily.

Though, as demonstrated by the U.S. football team led by Megan Rapinoe after the World Cup this year, women are still having to fight for gender equality and pay discrimination.

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