The WoW! News podcast – In England and Brazil, women footballers have just won equal pay with men; it’s an example of fair play for the whole world.
Podcast transcript, Sept. 24
A – Hello and welcome to WoW!, the positive podcast! Showing kids that there’s a lot more to the world news than bad news.
I’m Alastair. As a journalist, I’ve often written about things going wrong. But people also need to know too about what’s going right.
This week, Clarisse and I will be talking about one of my favourite subjects… Football!
But wait! Don’t switch off if you don’t like football. This podcast really is for everyone!
A – Hello Clarisse !
C – Hello Alastair! And why are we talking about football news this week?
A – Well, we don’t talk a lot about football at WoW!. But I wanted to talk about a girl from Brazil called Marta.
C – A girl? And this is football?
A – Yes, Clarisse. You like football, don’t you? Plenty of girls do.
C – Absolutely. I love football. I used to play with my brother. And I love it when the family gets together to watch big games. But we don’t hear much in the news about girls playing football…
A – Hm. Yes, maybe we don’t, Clarisse. But that could be about to change.
C – Really?
A – Well, for a start, Marta the footballer is getting pretty famous.
C – Ah, you mean [PORTUGUESE ACCENT] Marta Vieira da Silva. I remember she was here in France last year to play football in the women’s World Cup…
A – Exactly, Clarisse. And yes, I forgot you speak Portuguese, like they do in Brazil! So yes, [PORTUGUESE ACCENT] Marta was at the World Cup in France. And she became the top World Cup goalscorer of all time. She scored more World Cup goals than any man.
C – OK! But that was last year. What’s the news?
A – Well something that Marta is also famous for, apart from goals, is demanding that women get paid the same as men for doing the same job – not just in sport, but in everything.
C – Right! Because women around the world are paid a lot less than men, not just in football but nearly everywhere. It’s really wrong. So, what’s happened with Marta?
A – Well, this month, the Brazilian football federation said it will start paying everyone who plays for its national teams exactly the same – men or women. And in England, the Football Association there said it was doing the same. Some other countries, like Australia, New Zealand and Norway are already giving equal pay to women players.
C – OK! So Marta’s not just a winner on the pitch – she’s a winner for women’s rights!
A – You said it, Clarisse! Now, of course, there’s still a long way to go. Even in places like Europe where it’s actually against the law for women to be paid less for doing the same job, there are loads of ways that people – mostly men! – find to pay men more than women.
C – Yes, we hear people saying that men do harder jobs, or more people pay to watch men play sport…
A – Exactly Clarisse. And in football, of course, it has been true that more people watch men play football. But that’s partly because women haven’t been able to play so much. Marta started playing with her brothers – just like you Clarisse – when she was four. But people would tell her mother to stop her because football wasn’t a game for girls. Fortunately, Marta – and her mum! – didn’t listen.
C – Hm. But lots of other girls have been put off from playing…
A – Exactly. But at the women’s World Cup last year, huge numbers of people watched, in stadiums or on TV. That’s really proved there’s an interest.
C – So maybe even more people would watch women play than men?
A – Well, Clarisse, funny you should say that. Because, you know what? A hundred years ago, in England, women did play football in front of huge crowds. At Christmas 1920, two teams of women drew one of the biggest crowds ever seen at that time. More people were paying to watch women than men. And do you what happened next?
C – No…
A – The men banned women’s football. They said it was because it wasn’t healthy for women. But really the men were worried that their football clubs were losing money because people preferred to watch the women’s game. So, for 50 years the Football Association stopped women from playing. It’s taken a long time for women’s football to rebuild itself.
C – Wow. But women’s football has a great future now.
A – And what’s really important is that this is not just a story about Marta and a few other women who play football for their country. It’s a sign that people all over the world are waking up to the fact that girls must be allowed and encouraged do things they want to – and to be paid equally for that.
C – I hope you’re right…
A – Well, there’s a long way to go, Clarisse. But if people speak up, like Marta did, and we all do our bit to play fair, then everything is possible. Maybe we can tempt you back to try out your ball skills, Clarisse?
C – Ha! No, I think my football days are over. But I’m definitely going to take another look at Marta…
A – You go and do that, Clarisse. We’ve got some great video of her skills on the site, wow dash news dot EU. And I’ll see you next week. Bye!
C – Bye Alastair. Thanks for the news!
A – And thank you all for listening. If you’ve enjoyed our podcast, do tell a friend. This has been Alastair, with the WoW! News podcast, and I leave you this week, with the sound of Marta…
[SOUNDTRACK – MARTA SCORES]