Women In Soccer Social Barriers, North America
The social attitudes and barriers preventing women from playing soccer in North America often stem from within the government soccer federation as a whole. Most challenges that female soccer players, in North America, are confronted with include inequality in media coverage, a lower standard for resources in comparison to men (game location, coaching, and medical attention), and a substantial gender wage gap between men and women.
social attitudes and barriers that potentially prevent women from playing soccer in North America
Centralized management and control have permitted the US Soccer Federation to
perpetuate gender-based discrimination against women's soccer in nearly every aspect of their employment. Some of the areas of inequality experienced by female soccer players in North America include finacial differences, difference in resources provision, and difference in media coverage.
Many people believe that women don't deserve to earn as much as men because the men's team generates more money. Men make $3,750 for sponsored appearances, compared to the $3,000 that women are paid. The US Soccer Federation has paid and continues to pay women less than men. A 20-game winning top tier women's player would earn only 38% of the compensation of a similarly situated male player. This issue of inequality in pay has raised a series of argument among female soccer players. They have argued that they are required to play more games than the men’s team, that they win more of them, and yet, they receive less pay from the federation. "One of the biggest differences in compensation is the multimillion-dollar bonuses the teams receive for participating in the World Cup, but those bonuses — a pool of $400 million for 32 men’s teams versus $30 million for 24 women’s teams — are determined by FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, not U.S. Soccer."
DIFFERENCES IN RESOURCES
Women are provided with lower standards when it comes to coaching, medical attention, and pitch quality. They tend to play on artificial turf instead of real grass, sometimes causing burns on the players' skin. "Playing on inferior surfaces, including artificial turf, can lead to significant, career-threatening injuries. Such surfaces also affect fundamentals of the games, including the way the ball bounces and how the ball can be struck." For instance, from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2017, the women teams played 62 domestic matches, 13 (21%) of which were played on artificial
surfaces. During that same period, the men played 49 local games, only 1 (2%) of which was played on an artificial surface. The USSF arranged for natural grass to be installed temporarily over artificial surfaces for eight of the men's domestic matches, including three venues where the USSF did not temporarily fit natural grass when the women played in those same venues. Gender discrimination has also hurt how often and how they train, as well as how they travel to and from matches.
DIFFERENCES WITHIN THE MEDIA
The media coverage of female athletes is generally low compared to that of their male counterparts. It has been shown that "female athletes receive only three to four percent of media coverage, with industry giants like ESPN and Fox Sports granting them a paltry one to two percent of air time." Women's sports received less TV coverage this decade than they did in the '80s. Fewer media coverage directly impacts the amount of money offered to female athletes through sponsorships, accessibility, and overall popularity. Nearly 82% of female athletes media coverage is given to basketball. The rise in interest in women's sports has not been well publicized in news highlights and shows. For instance, there was no wide publicity regarding the 2015 Women's World Cup final which was the most watched US soccer match in history. Among other things, the USSF has allocated fewer resources promoting women's games than it has allocated promoting men's games.