13/09/2015 3:42 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Australian Men's and Women's World Champions

Associated Press

The Australian women's football team's withdrawal from a training camp over a wage dispute has again put the pay gap between male and female athletes under the microscope.

"This decision has not been taken lightly, however the players feel they have been left with little option as the current proposal is simply unacceptable," Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) chief executive Adam Vivian said in a statement.

"[Football Federation Australia] has failed to recognise the significant sacrifices the Matildas players are forced to make in playing for their country."

The Matildas in action (Associated Press)

Women's sport is slowly gaining more television attention in Australia, but female athletes are paid vastly smaller amounts than their male counterparts.

Players contracted with the Matildas earn a base salary of just $21,000 a year, with extra payments of $500 for a standard international game or World Cup group stage match. By comparison, in 2013/14 the Australian men's team earned $6500 per standard game, and $7500 for a World Cup group match.

Despite the enormous pay gulf, Australia boasts an impressive number of women's world champions -- and on the world stage, our women are actually far, far outperforming the men. We thought we'd tally up the recent international triumphs, and find out where things stand.


Rugby Union: the Wallabies have lost the Bledisloe Cup 13 times in a row, came third in the 2011 World Cup, and are fourth in betting odds on many agencies for the upcoming World Cup. We hold no major trophies.

Football: the Socceroos struggled at the last World Cup, coming 30th, but our boys do hold the Asian Cup after the landmark 2015 win.

Cricket: you probably don't need reminding, but we lost the Ashes this year. We did win the One Day International World Cup earlier this year though, but we crashed at the Twenty20 World Cup in 2014.

Rugby League: the Kangaroos lost the last Four Nations final in 2014, but are reigning world champions after winning the 2013 World Cup.

(Associated Press)

Basketball: the Boomers have struggled on the world stage recently, not doing well at the 2012 Olympics or the 2014 FIBA World Cup. We did win the Oceania Championship this year, though.

Swimming: The men won ZERO gold medals at the 2012 Olympics. At the 2015 FINA championships, Mitch Larkin was our shining hope, winning gold in the 100m and 200m backstroke.

Athletics: Aussie men currently hold zero Olympic or world championship titles.

Golf: Jason Day famously won the PGA Championship earlier this year.

Surfing: an Aussie doesn't currently hold the world title

For the men, that's a total of 7 reigning champions. How do the women compare?

Australia's men's titles


Rugby Union: we don't hold any titles.

Football: at the World Cup, the Matildas have made the quarter finals at the last three tournaments. By comparison, the Socceroos have made the same stage only once. They came runners-up in 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup after being the champions in 2010.

Cricket: Our women's cricket team, the Southern Stars, are certified world-beaters. They are the reigning World Cup champions, Twenty20 champions, and regained some Ashes credibility by winning the women's Ashes recently.

Rugby League: the Jillaroos won the 2013 World Cup.

Netball: the Diamonds just won the 2015 World Cup.

(Associated Press)

Basketball: Aussie women won bronze at the 2012 Olympics and 2014 World Cup, but also hold the Oceania Championship.

Swimming: our women won the only Aussie swimming gold at the 2012 Olympics, notching victory in the 4x100m freestyle relay. The girls also won five gold medals at the 2015 world championships, thanks to Bronte Campbell in the 50m and 100m freestyle, Emily Seebohm in the 100m and 200m backstroke, and again the 4x100m freestyle relay team.

Athletics: Champion hurdler Sally Pearson won gold at the 2012 Olympics, but our women currently hold no world championship titles.

Cycling: Anna Meares won the only Aussie cycling gold at the 2012 Olympics, winning the women's sprint.

Golf: No titles held by Aussie women.

Surfing: Stephanie Gilmore is the current world title holder, and has won won six of the last seven titles.

All up, that's an amazing 15 reigning champions among our female athletes.

Australia's women's titles

Surely, the case for bridging the pay gap is becoming stronger.