IWD and the Women's World Cup
Thoughts from the next generation of female footballers.
This year’s Women’s World Cup was the biggest ever with 32 teams competing across two countries with estimated viewing figures of over 2 billion people, double what they were in 2019.
As part of our ongoing campaign about equity and equality, we spoke to some potential World Cup stars of the future.
We asked Rhiannon Bassett, the coach of Rose FC who play in the Capital Girl’s League under 12s division 3 in North London to ask her team what they thought of where women’s football was, where it’s going and what their hopes for the game were. Here are some highlights of their thoughts…
Who is the team’s favourite player?
Beth Mead was a clear favourite.
What teams do they support?
The majority support Arsenal, with one rogue Manchester United fan.
What is it they like about playing football?
It’s clear that being part of a ‘team’ is number one, with ‘friends’ and ‘everything’ coming in a close second.
Do they want to be professional football players?
There was an even split between yes, no and unsure.
The Men’s World Cup prize pool is $440 million across the teams in the World Cup, the women only split $150 million. Do they think that is fair?
Everyone said no, reasonings ranged from ‘women and men are equal’ to ‘whatever your gender is, you should be rewarded the same’.
Do the boys’ teams think they are better than them?
This question was really split, between ‘sometimes not always’, ‘yes’ and ‘boys can be better, worse, or the same as girls, it just matters how much practice you get.’
Do they think the boys’ teams have access to more facilities and get better looked after when they play football?
This was a clear yes, one girl suggested the following reason for this: ‘there are more teams for younger boys and not enough to encourage younger females to play.’
What do they think the difference between the girls’ football and the boys’ football teams is?
A few of the girls think boys’ teams are ‘rougher’ and girls’ more ‘supportive’. There was also mention of the boys’ teams having ‘nicer training facilities’. However, one response stood out: ‘I think girls are not encouraged to play as they grow up, so then evidently boys are seen as having an advantage. There are way more boys’ teams, and they are better treated.’
Alessia Russo is probably going to make £1,000,000 a year playing for Arsenal and England. Do they think that’s good for a female footballer?
The girls agreed that it’s a lot of money but ‘men still get a bit more.’
Women footballers only make a fraction of the amount the men do. Do they think in their lifetime this will become equal?
Sadly, this elicited a split response, with most of the girls saying ‘no’ or ‘maybe’. The following answer seemed the most hopeful: ‘women’s football will become more and more equal as it advances over the years.’
Nike have developed the first boots specifically for women. Would they buy these over any normal football boots?
Another split response, one girl hilariously stated ‘no, my feet are too big’ and another ‘no – why do women need specific boots?’ But a couple of girls seemed interested in buying them.
Do they think Sarina Weigman, Lionesses’ manager, should manage the England men’s team and would that help the men’s team win the World Cup?
Almost everyone thought this was a great idea as ‘women are really good’ and ‘it would show that any gender coach is capable of as much as the other.’
So there you have it – some of the voices of the future of women’s football.
Next up in our IWD campaign we are planning a podcast centred around World Menopause Day on the 18th October. Make sure to keep an eye out for more details coming soon.