In a heartfelt op-ed published on the Players’ Tribune this weekend, Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry opened up about the need for female equality worldwide. Titled This is Personal, the essay describes how raising two daughters, Riley, 6, and Ryan, 3, has changed the way he views opportunities for women.
“With Ayesha and I suddenly seeing things through the eyes of [our] daughters…you know, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the idea of women’s equality has become a little more personal for me,” Curry writes. “I want our girls to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period. I want them to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rulebook for what they should think, or be, or do. And I want them to grow up believing that they can dream big, and strive for careers where they’ll be treated fairly.”
Curry goes on to discuss the main change he is striving for — equal pay. It’s a worthy cause. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women now make up just under half the workforce in America, but still make significantly less than men. Based on its 2016 research, female full-time, year-round workers made only 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent. It’s a gap that won’t be closed until 2059 — long after Curry’s daughters enter the workforce.
Still, Curry is quick to note that this isn’t only about Riley and Ryan, and that it’s not just “fathers of daughters” who should care about this cause — nor just something to talk about on Women’s Equality Day. “Every day — that’s when we need to be working to close the pay gap in this country,” Curry writes. “Because every day is when the pay gap is affecting women. And every day is when the pay gap is sending the wrong message to women about who they are, and how they’re valued, and what they can or cannot become.”
Curry’s hope for equality isn’t just limited to employment. He recently hosted his “first annual” all-girls basketball camp, which he plans to hold in the future. Among his goals: to help transform the sport so that it’s not “women’s basketball,” but just basketball. “Played by women, and celebrated by everyone,” he writes. The camp, which hosted 200 girls of varying ages, gave him an opportunity to see how they were already beginning to internalize society’s views of them — a fact he urgently wants to address.
The 30-year-old basketball star ended his op-ed by addressing his and wife Ayesha’s third child, Canon, and how they plan to raise their only son. Curry said he knows Canon will likely have opportunities that his sisters “can only dream of,” and that is something he wants to change. So how will he — and his son — do it?
“I think you let him know that, for his generation, to be a true supporter of women’s equality — it’s not enough anymore to be learning about it,” he writes. “You have to be doing it. It’s 2018 — school’s out. It’s time to go to work.”
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