On April 5th, 2017,聽it was announced that the US women鈥檚 soccer team聽would be getting new contracts and, with them, a pay raise, winning a hard-fought battle that had been carried out in the public eye for over a year.

Some of the team鈥檚 most high-profile players, including聽Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, and more, first launched a聽wage discrimination complaint against the sport鈥檚 governing body, US Soccer, in March 2016. In it, they reported that the women鈥檚 team only聽made about 40 percent of what their male counterparts did 鈥 this,聽 despite major successes on the field and in TV ratings聽when they won the 2015 FIFA Women鈥檚 World Cup (it was the most-watched soccer match in US history).

The players remained actively involved in the negotiation details from day one, and were vocal in the press about the inequality, appearing on CBS鈥 60 Minutes to discuss gender discrimination and even getting support from Hillary Clinton聽during her own battle for the White House in 2016.聽The new deal was ratified on April 4, which just so happens to be聽Equal Pay Day聽鈥 a symbolic push聽for聽awareness of the gender pay gap.

And while the women still won鈥檛 make as much as their male counterparts, they will receive a 鈥sizable increase in base pay and improved match bonuses,鈥 more control of certain licensing and marketing rights, as well as the same per diems聽as the men鈥檚 team 鈥 plus better travel benefits, and more financial support for players who聽are pregnant or adopting, according to ESPN. The new contract will see them through 2021,聽covering both the 2019 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

鈥淚t felt very empowering,鈥 player Alex Morgan told the AP of the new deal. 鈥淏ecause there is a whole issue going on in the country as far as equal pay and the fight for the gender pay gap. And I felt really happy with the agreement that we reached and the fact that we can now do what we came for and play soccer.鈥

This聽piece is part of our new project 鈥淵ear in Women.鈥 Check out all the women featured:

(Photos by Celso Junior/Getty)