South Australian government officials have announced that the riders in the Women’s Tour Down Under will receive the same pay as their male counterparts. This means a huge increase in the prize pool for women by roughly $90,000. The current prize pool for female riders is about $15,000. The decision has been met with wide acclaim from all around the world.
“These athletes are at the top of their game, displaying professionalism, determination and skill during every stage of the hard-fought race. It’s only fair the prize money they receive is on par with their male counterparts for each stage as well as the general classification,” the South Australian sports minister, Leon Bignell, said.
Amanda Spratt who won this year’s Tour Down Under called the decision “a huge step forward for equality”. Chloe Hosking agreed that it was indeed “huge news”.
“We have women coming from all over the world for the Women’s Tour Down Under. Having equal prize money will result in even more interest from top international female riders and help take this race to the next level,” the race director, Kimberley Conte, said.
Wow, not that I needed any more reasons to love Tour Down Under. What a huge step forward for equality 👏🏻👏🏻 https://t.co/gK88JhBNFt
— AmandaSpratt (@AmandaSpratt) January 20, 2018
Unfortunately, the pay gap between male and female riders is still significant. Although the UCI has introduced equal prize money at its championships, women cyclists still do not receive a minimum wage, and the difference between the pays of male and female riders at other big events is often huge as well. That’s why the decision of the Australian officials is definitely a step in the right direction.