Real change, not lip service, needed in treatment of women’s sports teams – Ward

12th September 2021 - Senator Barry Ward

Reports from that the Connacht Women’s Rugby Team was forced to change beside rat-infested bins before an interprovincial match against Ulster yesterday has set back progress made in recognising women’s and men’s sport equally, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Barry Ward said, “We had seemed to be making progress at recognising the importance of equality between women’s and men’s sports, but this shows that clubs are only paying lip service to women’s teams.”

Last month, parity was established in pay rates between female and male international football players, for the first time ever, by the Football Association of Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland women’s and men’s international teams agreed a deal with the FAI to receive equal pay. An agreement was made for the September World Cup qualifiers, to ensure that Vera Pauw’s senior women’s team would be paid the same as Stephen Kenny’s senior men’s side.

“It is disgusting to expect serious sports people to have to endure these conditions, particularly when it, rightly, would not be tolerated by a men’s team,” Senator Ward said.

“If we are serious about a level playing field in Irish sport, we cannot allow disparities like this to occur. Respect for all sports, women’s and men’s, is vital in encouraging participation, enjoyment, and success.

“We must shine a light on obstacles such as these and show that they will not be accepted. Real change, not lip service is required,” concluded Senator Ward.

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