Why Are Women’s Sports A Big Deal Right Now? – Explained

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably noticed how much leverage women's sports has gotten over the past couple of years. Recently, there have been some major achievements and successes that have been obtained by women sports teams, which is leading to more attention toward female athletes. For starters, the first women's AFL game played last week sparked revelations that the AFL league could be including professional women's teams by the year 2017, which would be a huge push for the rise of women's sports. With the massive ratings received from this event, it's almost a sure-fire thing.

What Are Women Achieving?

The Matildas made it to the quarter-finals of the Women's World Cup, which is the first time an Australian team has made it this far. The men's teams have yet to achieve this high level of competition, showing just how successful women athletes are becoming.

The Southern Stars cricket team dominated the Ashes, which the male teams were unable to do themselves. Meanwhile, the Opals have just qualified to participate in the 2016 Olympics that will be held in Riot next year.

Fairfax Media made an announcement that there could be up to six women footy teams that would begin participating in the sport within the next year. They have major plans to push for the development of women's footy teams over the next couple of years.

Why Is This A Big Deal?

Women's sports have always had lower ratings and lower viewers than male sports have. As a result, women athletes will typically get less pay and there will be fewer sponsored teams that are able to compete. This has created inequality in the sporting world with no reasonable answer to fix it. Clubs can't raise the salary of their athletes because less people watch women's sports, and female athletes have no other option but to accept the lowered pay and continue playing.

With more attention being drawn to female sports as a result of some of the achievements successful teams have been earning, more viewers are tuning in and channels are getting higher ratings. Over time, this will result in more support for women's teams which will help balance out the equality and give female athletes the proper training they need to succeed at a higher level of play.

What is the Pay Difference Between Male and Female Athletes?

While it depends on the sport, Australian female athletes are paid less than their male counterparts. For example, in the Women's World Cup the US team took home the grand prize of $2 million. Meanwhile, the men's team took home a total of $35 million the year before when Germany won the World Cup in 2014.

Cricket has a big difference in pay between males and females. The top domestic female athletes can make $17,000 a year with earnings up to $85,000, while males earned a minimal of $260,000 and were capable of making up to $2 million a year. That means that the bottom male cricket players were making more than triple of the earnings of the best female cricket players.