Points of Progress: Australian women’s soccer team gets pay equity, and more

Australia’s Sam Kerr celebrates after scoring a goal against Chile in Sydney Nov. 9, 2019. A record crowd of 20,029 attended the international soccer match in Australia.


The governing body for the country’s soccer will close the pay gap between the men’s and women’s national teams. The Football Federation Australia reached an agreement Nov. 5 to assure equal resources for the two teams. However, FIFA World Cup payouts are still vastly unequal. The prize money for the 2019 Women’s World Cup was $30 million, while the men’s payout for the year before was $400 million. The Australian women’s team is ranked eighth in the world by FIFA. The men’s team is ranked 44th. The announcement comes as the U.S. women’s national team, which won the Women’s World Cup in France this year, is involved in litigation seeking parity in pay and resources with the U.S. men’s national team. The case is scheduled to go to trial in May. (The New York Times

South Africa

A worker piles up leaves of rooibos tea for drying in the remote mountains of the Cedarberg region, about 186 miles north of Cape Town.

Why We Wrote This

This is more than feel-good news – it's where the world is making concrete progress. A roundup of positive stories to inspire you.

The rooibos tea industry will pay indigenous people 1.5% of the value that farmers get when they sell the tea to processors. This could amount to more than half a million dollars a year. The transactions recognize that the indigenous Khoisan people were the first to cultivate the product. South Africa’s oldest inhabitants, the Khoisan are made up of several communities: the Cape Khoi, the Nama, the Koranna, the Griqua, and the San – who also refer to themselves as bushmen. Rooibos only grows in the Suid Bokkeveld region of the country, where the Khoisan have used the tea for centuries. (BBC)

Uganda and Congo

The two countries reached an agreement to work on key road networks, which will connect the nations and foster trade. Announced at a meeting between the nations in early November, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi agreed to build a road network that will cover more than 730 miles. One road will go from Goli, Uganda, to Mahagi and Bunia in Congo. Violent militias, one of which has been linked to the Islamic State, have troubled the region. The infrastructure project, according to Mr. Museveni, should improve the region’s security. (MedAfricaTimes, The Defense Post)

Lewiston, Maine

Safiya Khalid

Safiya Khalid was elected to the Lewiston City Council in Maine in November. Ms. Khalid, who lived in a Somali refugee camp as a child before coming to the United States, won the seat with 70% of the vote. The Monitor’s Oct. 28 cover story, “How refugees transformed a town,” detailed the story of Lewiston, which became home to 6,000 African refugees and asylum-seekers. Ms. Khalid, who persisted with her campaign despite harassment, has secured a spot at the table to represent her community, said Lewiston Mayor Kristen Cloutier. In January, Ms. Khalid will become the council’s youngest member. She wants to champion public schools. “When I came here, I didn’t know how to write my name or speak any word of English,” said Ms. Khalid. “I am who I am because of public education.” (The Associated Press)


About 192,000 Rohingya children are being educated by UNICEF and its partners in 2,167 learning centers spread across the country. When more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh from persecution in Myanmar in 2017, thousands of Rohingya children were cut off from schooling. While 25,000 children are still not attending any educational program, UNICEF estimates 89% of Rohingya children under age 14 now have access to learning from the centers. But 640 learning centers are still needed, UNICEF says. Rohingya educators are hoping to have more of their history integrated into the curriculum. (The New Humanitarian, UNICEF)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Points of Progress: Australian women’s soccer team gets pay equity, and more
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today