Lesotho’s Kick4Life FC becomes the first Premier League in the world to pay equally both its men’s and women’s teams, especially after witnessing a notable rise in gender-based violence during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s been a significant increase [in gender-based violence] and we’ve really felt that there’s an urgency for us to state that we believe in equality of men and women on the pitch and off it,” says Kick4Life’s CEO Steve Fleming.
The decision was an easy one to make as the club has always been about uplifting women. “We will be an inspiration to the football community in Lesotho and globally,” says Puky Ramokoatsi, the women’s team manager, herself victim of gender-based violence. “But it is also a natural move for us to make after several years of using football to challenge gender discrimination and empower women and girls.”