Union, key to the advancement of rights in women’s sports: lawyer

▲ Before it was the American soccer players and now it is the Spanish ones, current world monarchs, who are strongly pushing for greater benefits for the players both in economic terms and in the aspect of well-being in terms of maternal care. Photo AFP

Erendira Palma Hernández

La Jornada Newspaper
Saturday April 13, 2024, p. a10

Given the promotion of women’s sports, the Spanish Reyes Bellver, sports law lawyer and FIFA advisor, stressed the importance of the union between players to achieve job improvements in any country, also highlighting that an interest has been awakened on the part of brands to sponsor this category.

On the issue of salary advances, it is very important to highlight the union of soccer players in different countries, through unions and collective bargaining. Collective agreements have expanded these rights, not only on salary issues, but also on maternity issues, he indicated in a videoconference.

Spain is precisely a case that demonstrates the potential reach of the players’ union, after signing a collective contract to establish a minimum wage with decent labor rights.

In addition, the Australia-New Zealand 2023 World Cup was also a watershed in this issue, since the Iberian team obtained rights to maternal care with the family conciliation agreement, which allowed players like Irene Paredes to have their son close during the tournament.

Thanks to this unity of the Spanish soccer players, through the union, the two players who had children under two years old with them were able to travel. These conciliation issues are progress and unfortunately it was very rare to see them before this World Cup, Bellver pointed out.

Another positive aspect has been the increase in interest from sponsors in women’s soccer, a category that was previously given less importance as part of marketing strategies.

“There is also a movement that, perhaps, may be more important or better known in the United States, but is also reaching other countries, which is investment in women’s teams, brands are now betting on female players.

They see that it is interesting to invest in diversity, because sport is not only masculine, but also feminine, because it sells. And this is a change of narrative from what is usual, that it is supposedly deficient, he added.

Bellver is one of the sports lawyers who has most closely experienced the changes to promote labor improvements for female soccer players. Since 2020, she has been an external advisor for the FIFA Professional Football Department, so she has participated in various reforms that have benefited players, such as protection during pregnancy and respect for maternity rights.

Thus, she is also the organizer of the Leadership Woman Football conference, which will be held at the end of the month in Mexico for the first time and where they will also address issues related to cyberbullying and physical and mental health within women’s football.

There is progress in many countries, in Mexico the Liga Mx audience stands out, how the entire country is mobilizing for women’s soccer, it is something that is still missing in other parts of the world such as Spain itself, he said.

2024-04-13 09:04:18
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