South Africa: The Gender Wage Gap in Football – Patriarchy and Profit Rule


Corporates throw money at the big football clubs not out of an undying love for the clubs or the sport, but for a fundamental and singular purpose: profit. That’s why we find ourselves baffled by Banyana Banyana not being paid in relation to how proud they make us as a nation, while Bafana Bafana are remunerated way beyond their performances.

In recent weeks, the South African football legend Portia Modise, with the support of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has raised the long-standing issue of wage disparity between the genders in the beautiful game. Elsewhere in the world, this question has been in sharp focus far longer, and the registered progress does shed a glimmer of hope.

Countries such as the US and UK are top of the list of those whose football associations are considering the official legislation of equal pay for women and men. While this has been a welcome resurgence in the South African debate on inequality, its historical roots have been taken for granted abroad and here at home.

Of course, the gender gap exists beyond the football world, or even the sport, arts and cultural fraternity – its roots are endemic to capitalist development all…

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