As the Rio 2016 Olympic Games draw to a close, you can’t help but reflect on the awe-inspiring feats from this year’s athletes. Katie Ledecky shattered world records almost every time she got in the pool, the Final Five didn’t adhere to basic laws of gravity, and Simone Manuel’s historic gold medal probably made everyone you know cry.

 

Helen Maroulis celebrates winning the gold medal. Photo credit: REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Helen Maroulis celebrates winning the gold medal.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Toru Hanai

 

These incredible Americans aren’t alone, either; professional female athletes are dominating their sports all over the world. Here at JLEW Bags, we can’t help but wonder why they aren’t getting paid fairly for their feats of athleticism.

Basketball, soccer, and mixed martial arts are making headlines recently for their unequal payouts, but the issue isn’t specific to any one sport; women in all industries are still making only 77 cents to every dollar a man earns.

These figures can be dispiriting, but there’s a silver lining: you can make a difference. Here’s how:

1. Watch women’s sports! There are still gutsy girls in Rio showing off their hard work and athleticism in sports like golf, taekwondo, and wrestling. Make sure to tune in and show the television networks that women’s sports deserve prime time coverage, too.

2. Attend professional sporting events for female teams in your city.

3. Volunteer to help train or coach young female athletes. We need to keep encouraging young women to foster their talents and pursue careers in sports.

4. Check out projects that support young women in athletic endeavors. We love #sheplayswewin from photographer Christin Rose and Girls on the Run.

 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 15: Lauren Hernandez of the United States competes in the Balance Beam Final on day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 15:
Lauren Hernandez of the United States competes in the Balance Beam Final on day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Photo credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images