OUR SAY: Equal pay is too much to ask right now
AS THE Matilda's landed in France this week, the renewed interest in ensuring our girls earn their dues as they compete on the international stage is warranted, but are we expecting too much of such a young competition?
Women's sport has saturated the headlines this week with Ash Barty taking out the French Open and named world number two, and the Matilda's set to give an impressive performance at the FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
The subsequent rejuvenation of the equal pay debate is fantastic.
More than half the global population aged four and over watched some part of official coverage of the FIFA World Cup in Russia last year, according to Reuters. That is 3.5 billion people tuning in.
The FIFA Women's World Cup is probably not going match those numbers, and until it inches closer, the gap between pay probably isn't going anywhere either.
Player's salaries are linked to viewership, demand and sponsorship. The more viewers tune in, the more sponsors want to get a piece of the action, the more profitable the competition is.
There is no doubt equal pay in the game should be a given, our most talented players regardless of gender should be able to follow their passion and take it to the world stage without holding down two other jobs or stressing about dead rent while they are competing.
The Women's World Cup is new to the game, it's still a Gen-Y baby trying to figure out how the whole thing works just like the rest of us in our twenties.
Whereas the Men's World Cup is the grandfather of the game, unapologetically stuck in its ways. It has had decades to grow, develop and build up a community of die-hard fans.
The Women's competition is getting there but it won't happen quickly.
The previous FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015, hit a record 750 million viewers and there are very real plans to continue to grow the sport and pull in the big sponsors this year.
Just a few days into the tournament this year, records continue to be smashed. 4.6 million viewers sat down as England were victorious over Scotland yesterday, a new BBC record for a women's soccer match.
Iconic advertiser Nike has recognised women's sport is growing quickly, and have begun to channel marketing to women, and they're using women's sport to do it.
Equal pay isn't going to be put to rest this year, and probably not before the next world cup, but the best thing we can all do to support the cause is tune in, take interest and provide the audience the sport deserves.