New York (AFP) - US multinational Procter & Gamble gave its backing to the United States' women's soccer stars in their fight for equal pay on Sunday, handing the team a $529,000 bonus following their World Cup win.
In a full-page advertisement placed in The New York Times, P&G said the company, one of the team's sponsors through its Secret Deodorant brand, urged the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to be "on the right side of history."
P&G said it was donating $23,000 to each of the 23 players who helped the US win a record-extending fourth World Cup title in France on July 7.
"After all the toasts, cheers, parades and awards subside, the issue remains. Inequality is about more than pay and players, it's about values," the P&G advert read.
"Let's take this moment of celebration to propel women's sports forward. We urge the US Soccer Federation to be a beacon of strength and end gender pay inequality once and for all, for all players."
The advert urged all "fellow fans, friends, supporters, organisations and brands" to fight for gender pay parity.
The P&G move comes with the US women in the midst of a legal case lodged against the USSF in March alleging discrimination.
The women players lawsuit highlighted the differences in pay with their male counterparts, despite being vastly more successful.
"The USSF discriminates against Plaintiffs, and the class that they seek to represent, by paying them less than members of the MNT (Men's National Team) for substantially equal work," the lawsuit read.
Chants of "equal pay" greeted the US women as they received the World Cup trophy in Lyon after their victory over the Netherlands in the final.
Fans also adopted the chant when the team were given a ticker-tape parade through New York on Wednesday.