Why Women’s Football is On the Up

Megan Rapinoe celebrating her penalty during the National Womens Soccer League game between OL Reign v Portland Thorns in 2021
Megan Rapinoe celebrating her penalty during the National Womens Soccer League game between OL Reign v Portland Thorns in 2021. Photo by Dantey Buitureida/SPP/Shutterstock (12383466m)

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is taking place this summer in Australia and New Zealand. The competition has been running since 1991, but it is only now that women’s football is finally starting to garner the attention it deserves. Whilst the men’s game is watched by millions around the world, and top-flight male players are used to weekly five-figure paycheques, until recently some people were unaware that their country even had a national women’s team, and female players have had to fight to be paid a decent wage.

As the national teams gear up to face each other, each of them seeking world cup glory, it is worth taking a look at some of the reasons behind the increasing interest in the female game.


Sam Kerr plays as a striker for Chelsea women’s football team. It is reported that she is the best-paid female footballer in the UK, taking home £417,000 each year. Kevin De Bruyne, playing for Manchester City, takes home £425,000 per week! Increasingly, fans are becoming disillusioned with the momentous transactions taking place in the men’s game and are seeking a sport that feels a little more grounded in reality. Women’s football, which has all the skill, speed, and strength of the men’s game, just with less capital behind it, is providing this for many.


The women’s game is producing some big stars, who are known for their skills on the pitch but also for their charisma and strength off it. Megan Rapinoe helped her team win the FIFA World Cup in 2015 and 2019 and is widely regarded as a footballing legend. Off the pitch, she has been vocal about LGBTQ+ rights and campaigns vigorously for a number of organizations and charities. In the UK, Leah Williamson captained the squad that won the Euro 2022 women’s final. She is a huge advocate for getting more girls and women playing sports. Her honesty about her struggles with endometriosis has raised awareness of the condition and she is calling for more support for women with the condition.


Although some may discount football as just a sport, it can have ramifications far beyond the stadium. In August 2021, the Afghan women’s football team fled for their lives as the Taliban retook their country. The women’s football symbolized a freedom that is no longer possible in Afghanistan. Despite the fact that they are not permitted to play as a team at the FIFA World Cup, the women are continuing to play football and holding onto hope that one day they can return to their home country and play competitively again.