While women have made their mark in many male-dominated arenas, major sports are yet to level the playing field in terms of pay.
As national women’s month draws to a close, SA Women’s Football Association acting-vice president, Molegadi Molelekoa, told the Daily News the sporting industry was mired in “ignorance, discrimination, patriarchy and institutionalised sexism”.
“In 30 years, not much has changed in soccer.
“How many Banyana Banyana players are well-known?”
The disturbing trend was revealed last year after the DA posed questions around pay equality in sport in Parliament.
The South African Football Association (Safa) revealed that Banyana Banyana players earned bet-ween R2 000 and R5 000 a game, while Bafana Bafana players earned R60 000 for a win and R30 000 for a draw.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) said Proteas women’s team players earned between R7 000 and R10 000 per Test match, while the Proteas men’s team players earn R46 000 per Test match, and earn an additional R34 000 bonus for winning a Test.
The SA Rugby Union (Saru) did not issue a response to the question before publication deadline.
Molelekoa said the most common response to demands of more pay for women players was that their games were not as well attended as those of their male counterparts.
She said as recently as 2012 players were expected to pay for their own flights to matches in other cities.
“I can’t imagine Bafana Bafana paying for its own travels,” she added.
The organisation said it was working hard to help female athletes earn more.
“Sport needs to reflect society. Women have made huge impacts in other areas, so why not sport as well?”
Chief executive of CSA, Haroon Lorgat, said the Proteas’ brand, principally developed by the men’s national team over the past 20 years, generated more than 80% of the governing body’s revenue.
“It is also common knowledge that their profile and performances on the field of play go a long way to attracting all our major sponsors and TV broadcasters who want to be associated with cricket, and the Proteas team, in particular.”
Lorgat said the organisation was working hard to achieve gender equality by awarding national contracts to all members of the national women’s squad and increasing the number of female players in the national academy.
When the Daily News approached Saru for their weigh-in on the subject and for the salary breakdown for male and female players, it was referred to the SA Rugby Players’ Association (Sarpa).
The amounts, both bodies said, were confidential.
Sarpa spokesman, Nyaniso Sam, said women players were “part and parcel” of the sporting fraternity.
“We look after them like we do our male members. When we help negotiate for more pay, they are included.”
He said the organisation was fighting for equal pay.
“The bottom line is that we want all our players to be treated fairly.”