South Africa’s Wenday Shongue celebrates with the national flag after the Women’s World Cup group G soccer match between South Africa and Italy in Wellington, New Zealand on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The recent success of the South African women’s soccer team at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand has placed emphasis on the unfair pay the team receives compared to the men’s team. Earlier this month the women’s team made history reaching the final 16 of the tournament which had never been accomplished before by either team.

Although this was a huge accomplishment, the attention was outweighed by a previous disagreement that arose between the team and the South African Football Association (SAFA) just before the tournament regarding the extra payments they were supposed to receive. The controversy was settled after a charitable organization provided a donation to the SAFA, but the disagreement brought notice to differences in the wages and rewards of the male and female teams.

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A study conducted in 2022 about the bonus system for “Banyana Banyana” (South Africa’s women’s national soccer team) discovered that players do not receive the same level of payment as their male peers. South Africa’s women’s players earned a bonus of only 55,000 rand ($2,885) after making it to the final of the women’s Africa Cup of Nations, a tournament they eventually won.  In comparison, the men’s team would have gotten a bonus of 250,000 rand if they had made it to the World Cup in Qatar in December.

South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana (11) celebrated with teammate Sibulele Holweni after scoring her team’s second goal during the Women’s World Cup Group G match against Argentina in Dunedin, New Zealand on July 28, 2023 (AP Photo/Andrew Cornaga)

Former Banyana Banyana captain Portia Modise expressed her frustration of not getting paid  as much as the men. She commented in the Reuters “We’re coming from very disadvantaged homes, we become breadwinners. Not getting paid (enough) makes life difficult.”

A money resolution was recently made to come close to equaling out the paying differences. In March, FIFA declared that they would provide $152 million as prize money for the women’s World Cup. This amount is three times higher than what was given in the last tournament and ten times more than the one before that. The men’s tournament in Qatar had a prize money of $440 million.