By Cynthia Richie Terrell on May 08, 2020
In a ruling delivered late Friday, Klausner sided with the players’ employer, the U.S. Soccer Federation, which argued the claim of unequal pay based on gender discrimination should be dismissed.
Klausner ruled that the players’ additional claims of unequal treatment in terms of travel, medical staff and training equipment can go forward. A trial is scheduled to begin on those questions June 16. But in granting summary judgment for U.S. Soccer on the matter of unequal and discriminatory pay, the judge gutted the symbolic and substantive heart of the lawsuit.
Molly Levinson, the players’ Washington-based strategist and spokeswoman, said the women would appeal.
“We are shocked and disappointed with today's decision, but we will not give up our hard work for equal pay,” Levinson said in a statement. “We are confident in our case and steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that girls and women who play this sport will not be valued as lesser just because of their gender. We have learned that there are tremendous obstacles to change; we know that it takes bravery and courage and perseverance to stand up to them. We will appeal and press on. Words cannot express our gratitude to all who support us.”
U.S. Soccer responded with a statement of conciliation. “We look forward to working with the Women’s National Team to chart a positive path forward to grow the game both here at home and around the world,” it read. “U.S. Soccer has long been the world leader for the women’s game on and off the field, and we are committed to continuing that work to ensure our Women’s National Team remains the best in the world and sets the standard for women’s soccer.”
Melinda Gates had an OpEd in The Washington Post about the need to address the long-standing issues with the caregiving system in the United States and the burden women bear - Melinda also writes about the imperative to pass comprehensive paid family and medical leavey:
As workday interruptions go, it was a cute one. Midway through a video call with our foundation’s covid-19 response team, a naked toddler appeared in the corner of the screen.
Comic relief is in short supply these days, and we all welcomed the laugh. Later, it occurred to me that the moment had a certain symbolic significance. It is — and should be — impossible to have a meaningful conversation about recovering from this pandemic without addressing an aspect of Americans’ lives that is too often invisible: caregiving.
To safely reopen the country, healthy people need to be able to go to work and sick people need to be able to stay home. We know that will require scaling up testing and contact tracing. We overlook that it will require scaling up caregiving solutions, too. It’s hard to stay home sick in a country where 1 in 4 workers lacks even a single paid sick day. It’s also hard to get back to work when you’re responsible for children or older adults but have nowhere to turn for safe, affordable care.
Even before the pandemic, caregiving options were inadequate and expensive. Now, everything that already made life hard for working families is about to get worse. Forty-seven states have closed schools for the academic year. Thousands of day-care centers may never reopen. The threat of covid-19 has made otherwise self-sufficient seniors reliant on their families in new ways.
It’s no mystery who will bear most of the burden. It’s women. It’s always women. Even though most women now work full-time outside the home, they still spend two hours more each day on household tasks and caregiving, are 10 times more likely to stay home with their sick children and are nearly three times as likely as fathers to quit their jobs to take care of a family member. The data tell us that the unpaid caregiving work done by women in their households is, in fact, one of the biggest barriers they face to equal opportunity in the workforce. Post-pandemic, they risk falling even further behind.
Those findings are summarized in an article published in BYU magazine this week. The professors who did the research are political science professors, Jessica Preece, Chris Karpowitz and economics professor Olga Stoddard. This most recent research was looking at women in a top collegiate accounting program, and builds on previous research across a number of fields: business, academia, politics, sports, church, nonprofit spaces and, yes, even the home...
What they found was similar to previous findings: Women in mixed-gender groups were systematically seen as less authoritative and less influential, they spoke less often and when they did speak up, they were interrupted more and what they had to say was taken less seriously. Having a single woman in a group with four men showed the biggest disparities.
Additional research has shown us that if a company adds a single woman to their interview pool, for “diversity’s sake,” there is statistically no chance that she will be hired. Zero. Think about what that means when there is only one woman on a legislative committee. Or a board. Or a ballot.
“It’s not women who are broken,” Preece said. “It’s society that’s broken,” a society that has been socialized to “discount female expertise and perspectives” and to hold women to different standards.
This piece from The New York Times speaks for itself!
This year’s Theatertreffen, the annual festival of the best in German-language theater, was supposed to be something different. After years of criticism that the event was a boy’s club that ignored female artists, Theatertreffen’s organizers had introduced a quota: At least half the productions would be directed by women or majority-female collectives.
As it turned out, that wasn’t even the biggest change to the festival this year. When the coronavirus pandemic meant that the event, held each May in Berlin, couldn’t go ahead as planned, its organizers salvaged what they could by shifting it online. Starting May 1, the festival made recordings of select productions available to stream on its website. Of the six streamed productions, four are directed by women, an even more favorable ratio for female theatermakers.
The decision to bring in a quota came after years of debate about gender imbalances in German theaters, newly amplified in the age of #MeToo. (Productions from Switzerland and Austria, countries where issues of gender parity in the arts have received less attention than in Germany, are also eligible.)
New York, NY – CREW, Civically Re-Engaged Women, announced today the preparation of their upcoming virtual conference “Sheroes & Champions: Energizing the Power of Your Vote.” The celebration of the “The Vote” is in observance of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment (Women’s Right to Vote) in the United States Constitution. The four conference takeaways will be: The True Meaning of Sacrifice, Sisterhood with a Purpose, Coalition Building, and Progress. Speakers and conference registration can be viewed on the website www.crewomen.com
CREW’s efforts are supported by RepresentWomen, working to advance strategies for women’s
Working with our Collaborating Partners who share these goals, we help them mobilize their chapters and members to participate in voter engagement and Get Out The Vote [GOTV] activities at the local, state, and national levels. We provide action ideas, toolkits, discussion leader guides for virtual, and hopefully later in the year, in-person gatherings, with media and communications support when needed on the website and with support from American Forum and its State Forums.
Here's to all the mothers, biological and metaphorical, who raised us and nurtured us and continue to inspire us...
Onward to equality,
P.S. Don't forget to check out this week's must reads from the RepresentWomen team for feminists of all ages: