How a Norwegian Athletic Group Is Setting a High Mark for Gender Parity
After a landmark agreement supported by both male and female players, the Norwegian Football Association is paying all senior national team players exactly the same.
In 2018, the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) is all about equal footing.
In December, NFF signed an agreement with the Norwegian Players’ Association (NISO) ensuring that senior players on its male and female international teams are paid the same. The move came about voluntarily—and with the support of the men’s national players, who took a pay cut to make equal pay a reality.
Under the agreement, the women’s team received a 2.5 million kroner ($315,450) raise for 2018, nearly double what it had received the year before. The two teams will each receive salaries of 6 million kroner, or $726,900.
As Good recently noted, the move represents a significant step for equal pay for athletes globally, especially considering that the agreement was reached without outside pressure from a governmental body or from public protests.
“It is very positive that Norway is a pioneer,” NFF Secretary General Pal Bjerketvedt said, according to CNN. “At the same time, this is a recognition for women’s football in general, and it’s amazing to see how much this means to the players and what enormous attention the issue has gained internationally. Players in the women’s team are increasingly being used in commercial contexts.”
Many star female athletes continue to be paid significantly less than their less-successful male counterparts. Case in point: Serena Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles during her 22-year professional tennis career—a mark far beyond any male opponent currently in active play—was the only woman to show up on Forbes’ list of the 100 highest paid athletes of 2017. She was ranked number 51 on the chart.
Norwegian football players Stefan Johansen and Maren Mjelde, shown after signing an equal pay agreement in December. (via Fotballandslaget's Facebook page)