SYDNEY • Australia's professional female footballers secured a landmark pay rise yesterday that will see them receive the same minimum wage as their male counterparts in a win for gender equality.
Under a new collective bargaining agreement unveiled on the eve of the World Cup in France, the base annual pay for players in the W-League was hiked 33 per cent to A$16,344 (S$15,560).
Their season is much shorter than the A-League but, pro-rata, it matches the men's minimum salary.
Australia has emerged as a champion for equality in the sports arena, with netballers and women cricketers also winning better pay deals in recent years.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) hailed the move as "an outcome that delivers on the gender equity principle of same base pay for same base work".
The deal means that players in both leagues will receive the "same minimum remuneration hourly rate", said FFA Head of Leagues Greg O'Rourke.
Up until two years ago, many players in the W-League were considered amateur and received only expense reimbursements, but that changed in 2017 when they won better employment conditions.
Professional Footballers Australia chief John Didulica said he was proud to have secured another landmark step for women footballers.
Australia is at the forefront of closing pay gaps with 17 sporting chief executives, including from cricket, rugby union, and Australian Rules, backing a collaborative effort this year to advance all aspects of women's sport.
Tennis was a leader in levelling the playing field with all four Grand Slam tournaments now paying equal prize money, with the Williams sisters among the most outspoken on pay equality.