In the United States, female athletics are extremely popular but often overshadowed by their male counterparts. Within the elementary–high school level, unequal funding is the primary obstacle that schools face in creating and maintaining equal opportunities for boys and girls to participate in sports. In public schools and institutions of higher learning that receive federal funds, girls' and women's athletic programs are addressed by the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This amendment has strongly helped increase girls' participation, by about 1,000 percent since its initial implementation.
Since 2017, however, the funding allocations have been cut, which negatively affects women's programs.
At the college and university level, an example of discrimination against women's programs, in defiance of Title IX protections, is Eastern Michigan University's 2018 proposal to cut four women's programs and the resulting lawsuit.
Another issue that often affects women's ability to play at the advanced amateur and professional levels is discrimination in salary and compensation. A very good example is provided by the ongoing efforts of the US National Women's Soccer Team. The team's 2019 World Championship won their third World Cup. The US men's team has never won a World Cup. However, a woman player's pay is less than one quarter of what men receive.