SIPTU representatives have welcomed an agreement that footballers representing Ireland at international level will be paid equally while calling for more action by sports authorities to end the continuing gender pay gap and encourage greater participation by women. SIPTU Arts, Culture, Print, Media and Sport Sector Vice President, Marguerite Sheridan, said: “The move, yesterday (Monday, 30th August), by the international footballers to agree equal pay for men and women representing Ireland is a welcome development.” She added: “The sports world remains very male dominated and the disparities in earnings and participation in some sports are shocking. It remains the case that in some sports a professional male at the height of his abilities can be a millionaire while a woman at a similar level may not even be earning the minimum wage.”  SIPTU Sector Organiser, Martin O’Rourke, said: “The recent successes by Irish athletes in the Olympics shows the importance of women being involved at grassroots level in sports which were traditionally not considered to be for women. Avoiding this bias at an early age allows them to develop into elite sports stars.” He added: “UN statistics show that globally nearly half of women drop out of sporting involvement by the time they reach puberty, with this having negative ramifications for female health and later participation in elite sports. SIPTU is committed to working with sporting bodies to provide more opportunities and encouragement for female participation in sport and this includes seeking greater parity between the genders in its financial rewards.”