The women’s rugby team in Australia has openly condemned Rugby Australia for unequal treatment in comparison to the men’s team, claiming a lack of equal promotion.
A statement made public on social media by players including fly-half Arabella McKenzie said, “You informed us that anything more than economy class was too expensive for our flights. However, the Wallabies were flown business class for a shorter trip than ours. The fate of our games is at risk.”
In response, Rugby Australia admitted that there’s more work to be done, stating, “We know we have a way to go.” They further announced, “We are taking steps towards a fully professional future for the Wallaroos and increasing our investment in women’s rugby at both national and community levels.”
A post from Rugby Australia, now removed, showing men’s players’ partners boarding a flight to France for the World Cup, led to further discontent. Australia forward Sera Naiqama pointed out that this privilege was not extended to the women’s team during the Women’s World Cup last year.
She went on to highlight previous instances of unequal treatment, such as when the men’s team flew business class to South Africa while the women had to endure a 14-hour economy flight to Canada.
Although women players are currently part-time, Rugby Australia has committed to achieving full-time contracts by 2025.
Other points of contention include the disparity in backroom staff for the men’s team, led by head coach Eddie Jones, and the recruitment of rugby league player Joseph Suaalii for a significant contract worth A$5m (£2.5m).
The women’s statement emphasized their frustrations, saying, “You assured us full-time contracts were coming, that there wasn’t enough money to sustain the men’s game, much less ours. Then you spent $5m on an NRL player. How many coaches has Eddie taken to the World Cup?”
They further emphasized the impact of women’s sports in Australia and urged the leaders of Rugby Australia to prioritize and allocate adequate resources to women’s rugby, acknowledging the unequal promotion.
The women’s statement was shared by McKenzie, who remarked, “At a time women’s sport is shining in Australia, the reality isn’t the same for the Wallaroos #yourmove.”
In contrast to rugby, Australia’s men’s and women’s football teams struck a deal in 2019 to share revenue equally, reflecting a movement towards equality in some sports within the country.
The semi-final of the Women’s World Cup football between Australia and England in Sydney exemplified the growing interest in women’s sport, attracting record television viewership in Australia with a peak audience surpassing 11 million.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: inequality
What is the main grievance of the Australian women’s rugby team?
The women’s rugby team in Australia is criticizing Rugby Australia for unequal treatment compared to the men’s team. This includes disparities in travel conditions, contracts, promotion, and support staff.
Why did the women’s team have to fly economy while the men’s team flew business class?
According to the statement by the women’s team, Rugby Australia told them that flying anything beyond economy was too costly, while the men’s team was flown business class for shorter trips.
What is Rugby Australia’s response to the women’s team’s criticism?
Rugby Australia acknowledged that improvements are needed and stated that they are taking steps towards a fully professional future for the Wallaroos. They also committed to investing more in women’s rugby across national and community levels.
What other disparities were pointed out by the women’s team?
Other grievances include the lack of full-time contracts, the disparity in backroom staff, and a high-profile recruitment of a male player at a significant cost, despite claims of insufficient funds for the women’s team.
How does the situation in rugby contrast with other sports in Australia?
In contrast to rugby, Australia’s men’s and women’s football teams signed an agreement in 2019 to share revenue equally. The growing interest in women’s sports is also evident in other areas, such as record viewership for the Women’s World Cup football semi-final.