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Uplifting Women's Sport in Aotearoa and the World

Supporting the professionalism of women – Uplifting Women’s Sport in Aoteraoa and the World 

Seeing women and girls recognised on the global stage for their sporting ability is a stepping stone to creating equality in sport – something that currently represents one of the biggest pay gap disparities. Visibility, seeing women’s games televised, sponsors getting behind women’s teams and not only the men’s teams are all things we are slowly starting to see increasing but progress is still slow. There are a number of barriers for women in sport, and this is represented by the sometimes staggering pay disparity across different codes.  

Along with creating a women’s competition in our highest level domestic rugby competition, Super Rugby Aupiki, we are incredibly lucky here in Aotearoa to be hosting some of the world best in different sporting disciplines and World Cups in 2022. The first of these is the Women’s Cricket World Cup which starts on the 4th of March.  

Cricket World Cup -  

Rugby World Cup -  

Super Rugby Aupiki -  


Participation by women in sport demonstrates benefits that extend far beyond the end of the game. 

Recognising there are clear inequalities for women and girls when it comes to participation, and their wider involvement and visibility within sport and active recreation in Aotearoa New Zealand, Ihi Aotearoa (Sport New Zealand) have developed a specific strategy to increase leadership, participation and visibility of women and girls in sport.  

This strategy picks up the momentum of a global movement towards empowering women and girls through being active, recognising the value of this as a means to improve wellbeing and equity. It acknowledges that women and girls are not homogenous groups and have different needs that must be met in order to best support and engage with them.       

Check out the infographic to illustrate the Case for Change. 

The Strategy has three priority areas:  leadership, participation, and value and visibility     

Above all the Strategy aims to ensure that all women and girls, in all roles, are visible, feel positive about the contribution they make,  and value being involved and participating in all levels of sport and active recreation.       

There is a clear documented link between engagement of women and girls in sport and better outcomes for communities and organisations. Females are underrepresented in decision-making roles within sport and active recreation in the areas of management, coaching and governance. Strong, diverse and gender balanced leadership brings breadth of perspective, better decision-making and creates stronger organisations.” - Case for Change  


Pay Disparity in Sport (highlighting the need for change)  

Landmark Equal Pay Decision US Womens Soccer – U.S. Soccer and Women’s Players Agree to Settle Equal Pay Lawsuit 

Under the terms of the agreement, the athletes will receive $24 million and a pledge from the soccer federation to equalize pay for the men’s and women’s national teams. 

Male vs Female Professional Sports Salary Comparison 

Published in 2021, this article draws information from numerous sources and a number of different codes across America where professional athletes are highly paid, some much more than others.  

“Whether professional players receive salaries or individual prize money from competitions, male athletes in basketball, golf, soccer, baseball and tennis make anywhere from 15% to nearly 100% more than female athletes.” 

For more, including some interesting and rather eye-opening charts comparing the average earnings for men and women across different codes, read on here -