Senate joins fight for equal pay

Five members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team filed a complaint in March accusing U.S. Soccer of wage discrimination and arguing that male Major League Soccer players make significantly more than they do. While they have yet to achieve equal pay for their talents, the United States Senate has joined the fight in securing their rights.

According to the Huffington Post, the Senate “unanimously approved a non-binding resolution calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation to ‘immediately end gender pay inequity and to treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve'” on Thursday, May 26.

Introduced earlier this month by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and 21 other Democrats, the resolution to remedy the pay disparity was brought up for discussion this week when Murray gave a speech on the team before the Senate, says the Huffington Post.

Mentioning the USWNT’s third World Cup win and three Olympic gold medals, Murray said, “But despite all of these tremendous successes, these players do not get paid on par with their male counterparts.”

“This isn’t just about the money. It’s also about the message it sends to women and girls across our country and the world,” the senator offered, later calling their struggle “emblematic of what is happening all across our country,” referencing the ever-present pay gap that persists across a multitude of professions.

The Huffington Post says that although the resolution, which “only applies public pressure on the soccer governing body,” passed without objection, Murray and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) hope that this small step will lead to further action taken to address the broader pay problem.

After the resolution’s approval, Murray expressed her pride over its adoption, calling it a show of support for women around the country. But Murray’s work is far from over; she hopes that this victory can help garner the approval of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which aims to remedy wage discrimination based on gender.

“Now, let’s back it up with action by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act!,” she said after the resolution’s approval. “I am going to keep fighting for this legislation, so I urge all my colleagues to put partisanship aside, once again, and work to get this done.”

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