According to a study by BBC Sport, the vast majority of sports offer men and women equal prize money at the highest level.
Of the 48 sports studied, 37 offered prize money – only three of which did not offer parity at any of their major championships or events.
The biggest gaps in prize money for male and female athletes are in soccer, golf, and basketball.
“Women’s sport is getting stronger,” said Sports Secretary Nigel Huddleston.
“It is absolutely true that the rewards match this achievement and we have seen a significant increase in the prize money on offer over the past few years.
“We must continue to push for greater participation, employment, commercial opportunities and visibility of women’s sport in the media to keep this momentum going.”
Since the last edition of the BBC Sports Studies prize money in 2017, sports such as hockey, cliff jumping, surfing and wrestling have hit par in at least one major competition.
However, cricket has taken the greatest strides to fill the void.
The Hundred, which is scheduled to open for the 2021 season, offers equal prize money in the men’s and women’s tournaments, while the men’s and women’s Big Bash leagues hit parity in the 2017/18 season.
The Australian champion received US $ 1 million (£ 716,635) in prize money at the 2020 T20 Women’s World Cup. This is supposedly the same on what the winners of the men’s tournament will win in 2021, but the International Cricket Council (ICC) has not yet confirmed the tournament’s prize pot.
The total prize money for the 2022 Women’s World Cup has been increased to $ 3.5 million (£ 2.5 million). In 2017, England won $ 660,000 (£ 470,500) out of a total of $ 2 million, compared to the $ 4 million (£ 3.1 million) the English men won from a total of $ 10 million in 2019 had.
“We made a very strong statement that we wanted the same prize money because it really shows how much we really value women’s cricket and the forward-looking women’s game,” said Beth Barrett-Wild, director of The Hundred BBC Sport women’s competition .
“This really tangible action will hopefully get others to come with us.
“If you want to authentically say that you value the sport in exactly the same way for men and women, you have to award the same prize money.”
What is the BBC Prize Money in the Sports Study?
This is the third time, after 2014 and 2017, that BBC Sport has carried out the global study.
The 2021 study focuses on the prize money awarded to contest winners and does not include wages, bonuses, or sponsorship.
Some sports, including rugby union and rowing, do not offer men or women prize money in major competitions.
Men and women compete side by side at horse races and equestrian events.
In darts, snooker and bowls, women can take part in men’s tournaments if they qualify. There are separate women’s snooker and bowls competitions, but the prize money is significantly lower, while the closure of the British Darts Organization (BDO) in 2020 means there will no longer be a separate women’s world darts championship.
What has changed since the 2017 study?
The men’s and women’s winning teams pocketed $ 250,000 each in the first Pro League in 2019, while a women’s Euro Hockey league was introduced for the 2019-20 season, offering the same prize money to the men’s league.
Wrestling’s Ranking Series brought in the same prize money in 2018, while the World Surf League hit parity in 2019.
The Cliff Diving World Series offers its male and female athletes prize money of 7,085 euros from 2021. British bronze medalist Jess Macaulay said this as a “relief”.
“It was a relief to hear them say we would get equal pay for our next competitions because this is our career. We all put the same amount of time and effort into trying to be the best at the field,” she told BBC Sport.
“If we want to be at the top of our game, we want to be valued as much as the men in the sport. It’s just very exciting. It felt like a big step for our sport.”
In road cycling, Britain’s most prestigious men’s and women’s races – the Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour – have had the same prize money since 2018. The stage winners will receive 3,615 euros, while the overall winners will take home 14,460 euros).
Most road races still don’t pay the same prize money, however, an inequality that became even more apparent at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last month. Davide Ballerini won the men’s race for 16,000 euros, while the women’s champion and gold medalist of the Olympic and world road race Anna van der Breggen won 930 euros.
This year’s Rugby League World Cup has yet to confirm its prize money, but it will be the first time that prize money will be given to the victorious women’s and wheelchair teams, and all teams will receive the same entry fees.
Where is the largest gap?
The Women’s World Cup offers the most prize money in women’s sport, but remains 9.5 times less than what was awarded at the men’s tournament
The difference in prize money in men’s and women’s football remains large.
The 2019 Women’s World Cup was the most-watched edition of the tournament in history, but despite the projected total audience audience of 1.12 billion, which makes up a third of the 2018 Men’s World Cup, the prize fund was more than nine times smaller.
The U.S. women’s national team won $ 4 million (£ 2.8 million) compared to the French men’s win of $ 38 million (£ 27.2 million) in 2018. The women’s prize pool was double that of the previous tournament in 2015, and Fifa has announced that it will double again for the 2023 edition.
Fifa told BBC Sport that it “has a long-term vision for the development of women’s football at all levels of the world and is investing to that end”.
In the Champions League, Uefa has reduced the prize money for the winners from 250,000 euros in 2019 to 150,000 euros in 2020 and 2021, while the prize fund for men remained at 19 million euros. £ 16.4m).
Uefa informed the BBC that the prize money for earlier rounds of the competition has increased so that the winner will receive more than in previous seasons.
In the FA Cup, the victorious men’s club will earn £ 1.8m in the 2021 season, while the winners will pocket £ 25,000.
“While we recognize that there are currently significant differences between the prize money for men’s and women’s competitions, it is determined by the amounts of money generated from commercial revenue, including national and international broadcast rights,” an FA spokesman told BBC Sport .
“The [men’s] FA Cup is the largest revenue producer for the FA. These revenues allow us to reinvest in football at all levels and we have made significant strides in developing the women’s game as a result. “
Disparities also persist in golf. Women golfers are among the top earners in top sport, but still earn considerably less than their male counterparts in majors.
The US Open in June has a chance for men to win $ 2.25 million (£ 1.6 million), while the grand prize for the US Women’s Open this month is $ 1 million (£ 716,605). In 2014, the difference between these two numbers was less – $ 900,000.
At the 2019 Open, Shane Lowry won £ 1.9 million while Sophia Popov, the 2020 Women’s British Open winner – the men’s event was canceled due to coronavirus – received $ 675,000 (£ 483,924).
While the numbers for the 2021 tournaments have not yet been released, a spokeswoman for R&A, which organizes The Open and Women’s British Open, said her “stated goal” was to close the prize money gap.
She said, “We have made significant strides in this regard and are working hard to increase the championship’s economic effectiveness to increase revenue and support further investment in the future.
“We are fully aware that we have a lot more to do, but we cannot do it alone. We must all do our part to increase the commercial success of women’s golf at its best, and that means that everyone from the golf association to the sponsor and the media. “
Craig Annis, USGA’s chief brand officer, said the organization is “committed to gender equality in golf.”
“The US Women’s Open leads the purse in all of women’s golf, which requires a disproportionate investment in the championship when compared to the income generated,” he said.
“We will continue to invest to ensure that the US Women’s Open remains the premier women’s golf event through wallet, broadcast, host sites and gaming experience as we near the ultimate goal of wallet parity.”
One sign that golf is slowly changing is the new ISPS Handa World Invitational Event. It is jointly approved by the European Tours for Men and Women and the LPGA and will host separate tournaments for men and women in July, with equal fields competing for the same prize money.
How does Covid-19 affect the prize money?
The coronavirus pandemic has had and will have an impact on sport at all levels. While the majority of the sports surveyed by the BBC said the prize money would not be affected, many said they did not know at the time.
The FA is currently planning “potential losses” of around £ 300 million and has reduced the competition’s prize money as a result.
The men’s FA Cup prize fund this season has decreased to that of the 2017-18 tournament, with the £ 1.8m prize awarded to winners half of that won in 2018-19 and 2019-20 Amount is.
However, the main prize for the women’s FA Cup winners remains the same.
Kelly Simmons, the FA’s director for the women’s pro game, said, “It’s well documented that the FA has seen significant cuts and layoffs. It’s a very difficult environment. It is not the time to look for new money right now search.” .
“Across the board, we want to develop and expand the FA Cup for women, just like we did with the Super League for women, by helping to develop it commercially to generate revenue and ultimately as much money as possible bring the clubs. “
“Of course we want to increase the prize fund, but those funds aren’t there, so we’re investing in clubs in other ways.”
This year’s Australian Open tennis tournament reduced the payout to the winners by 33% compared to 2020, although the total prize pot increased. This was done to increase the money won by lower ranked players who were eliminated in previous rounds and whose income was affected by the pandemic.
When did the sport start paying the same prize money?