Mar 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

U.S. women's soccer joins Biden to honor "Equal Pay Day"

Soccer players Margaret Purce and Megan Rapinoe with President Biden in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on March 24.
Soccer players Margaret Purce and Megan Rapinoe with President Biden in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on March 24. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Megan Rapinoe, Margaret Purce and other members of the U.S. women's national soccer team joined President Biden and first lady Jill Biden at the White House on Wednesday to advocate for closing the gender pay gap.

Why it matters: During the meeting, Biden signed a proclamation to honor "Equal Pay Day" in the U.S., which the Commerce Department says symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year

Context: The Census Department estimates that women earned 82 cents to every dollar earned by men in 2019.

  • Members of the U.S. women’s soccer team were invited to attend the event because the team has won the World Cup four times and sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in 2019 over wage discrimination, though the lawsuit was dismissed last May.

What they're saying: "Despite those wins, I've been devalued. I’ve been disrespected and dismissed because I’m a woman," Rapinoe said Wednesday. "And I’ve been told that I don’t deserve any more than less, because I am a woman."

  • President Biden said it "doesn’t matter if you're an electrician, an accountant or part of the best damn soccer team in the world, the pay gap is real."
  • "And this team is living proof that you can be the very best at what you do and still have to fight for equal pay," he added.
Go deeper