The AFL makes huge move to close the gender pay gap and will pay men and women the same prize money
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The sports organisation has revealed that AFLW’s prize money will be doubled compared to previous years when it kicks off on September 1.
Season eight of the women’s league will rise from $634,000 to $1.1 million and be divided between the top eight teams.
The AFL informed the 18 AFLW club captains of the change ahead of the season on Monday night (August 21).
While the prize money for the men’s season was split between the top four teams, the reward will be matched for women’s competition.
AFL Players Association chief executive, Paul Marsh, backed the historic decision but believes this is only the beginning.
“The AFL has been in discussions with us about this and we’re supportive,” he said, as per The Guardian.
“However, this is only a small piece of a much larger puzzle.”
The AFL and the Players' Association are currently negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
“Through negotiations with the AFL for a new CBA for all AFL and AFLW players, further opportunities exist to grow and develop AFLW and, in doing so, the whole industry,” Mr Marsh added.
“This initiative doesn’t come as a substitute for the outcomes we’re seeking but it is a positive step towards them.”
AFLW chief Nicole Livingstone said that the new season would be the best iteration following the Matildas' epic run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
"With the passionate enthusiasm currently in Australia around women's sport, we really do feel like there's no better time than to burst onto the scene with AFLW," she said earlier this week, according to ESPN.
The announcement comes after the Matildas’ Captain Sam Kerr called for more funding for women’s football following the team's nail-biting 3-1 loss to England in the semi-final.
"I can only speak for the Matildas. We need funding in our development. We need funding in our grassroots. We need funding. We need funding everywhere,” the 29-year-told ABC News.
"The comparison to other sports isn't really good enough. And hopefully, this tournament changes that because that's the legacy you leave — not what you do on the pitch. The legacy is what you do off the pitch.
"And hopefully, I mean, it's hard to talk about now, but hopefully this is the start of something new."