ASB Classic Woman's Tennis Tournament in Auckland New Zealand has drawn criticism by one of the country's biggest organizations for women, the YWCA Auckland.

They are hot under the collar over pay inequalities between male and female tennis players so they have started a petition to address the equal pay issues.

They argue that while winning the match will be a triumph for one of the female players, for women in New Zealand it will be no victory.

ASB Classic finals will be on 7 January but women will be paid less

The finals will be played on 7 January 2017 and the winner will bag $43,000 which sounds like a decent amount of money until you realize that this is half the amount that the male winner will take home.

In their petition, the organizers claim that the excuses made to pay the women less for this particular tournament are inadequate. Posing answers to questions, they seem to have a very valid point that the inequality is not necessary.

On the suggestion that men draw more 'buns on seats'

The suggestion that the men bring in more tennis watchers was scotched by YWCA Auckland who quoted ASB Classic Tournament Director, Karl Budge as saying in 2016, "The pulling power and attention has been in favor of the women the last few years." In fact, the women's tournament draws higher TV ratings than the men. This is hardly surprising as players like Serena Williams are top in their game.

New Zealand society leads the push for equality at work

New Zealand has long been pushing for equality between men and women, and they hold up Helen Clark who served a nine-year term as Prime Minister of the country as an example of what women can achieve. She went on to become the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and was the first woman to lead the organization.

She also served as the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programs, and departments working on development issues.

Tennis inequality in pay sends the wrong message to New Zealand girls

The Game, Set, #Match the Money petition points out that "with tennis’ biggest female stars on our doorstep and the world watching, we’ve sent the message to our daughters that you can be the best in the world and you’ll still get paid less than a man." This is fundamentally wrong they say.

What it boils down to, despite any difficulties with sponsors and tournament organizers, donors and profits, is that women and "daughters" see the headlines are loudly proclaiming that it is OK for women to be paid less for doing the same job as the men.

In the year 2017, this needs to be corrected, and most certainly in a country that has a long history of social democracy.

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