The Federal Minister and the Australian Sports Commission's move to see equal travel standards for both men's and women's teams has been welcomed in terms of gender equality.

In theory, is a no-brainer as the Federal Minister for Sport Sussan Ley articulated.

"Quite frankly I was shocked and surprised to find that in every sport it isn't always the case that the guys and the girls fly and are accommodated at the same level of travel," she said.

However, there is also a discussion about whether the right question is being asked.

Instead of travel, should there not have been a letter requesting equal, or measures in place to reach close to equal funding, for men's and women's national team programs?

It would be loathe not to take a moment to consider the possible practical implications of applying the travel standards across the board as it currently stands.

Hypothetically, say the Matildas have a tour budget of $500,000 for the year.  Here is how flight costs for one tour to Europe could look.

SYD-PAR*Players**Total Cost
Premium Econ$5,246.0018$94,428.00
Business Class$6,971.0018$125,478.00

* Qantas flights as they are FFA partner

** 18 travelling players and not including potential of 6

This is not even taking into account staff members (Head coach, 2 assistants, team doctor, team physio and team manager at a minimum), nor does it take into account internal flights to transport everyone to Sydney for departure or internal flights for the particular European tour.

Even taking into consideration the fact that host nations organise and pay for accommodation during the tour, the class of flight can eat a substantial amount out of a budget.

Suddenly instead of two or three tours a year (and potentially 10 - 15 matches a year), the likelihood is that there would only be 1 tour for the year and it may only be within Asia or New Zealand.

The reality is that with camps costing approx. $30 - $40,000, that would be the preferred option.  With a decrease in the number of competitive matches, arguably, that is actually detrimental to the program rather than progressive.

And those numbers are just for the senior team.

What about the junior representative teams who are essentially dormant for a year after any AFC youth championship?  The U17 team has not had a camp in 12 months and the U20 team almost six months.  That is compared with the activity that occurs regularly for youth representative teams for Australia's AFC counterparts.

Meanwhile there are regular camps for boys youth national teams and National Premier League teams and many different avenues for continual development.

In essence, in Australia, the opportunities for a 17 year old boy in comparison to a 17 year old girl are still much greater.

"A travel edict is a start, but the only way systemic change truly occurs, is if there is a substantial shift  and there are greater resources poured into women's programs."

When you consider that the Socceroos have a $12 million budget, that is 6x that of the Matildas $2 million (and that isonly due to being a World Cup year), that is the gap that needs to be closed.

In comparison, the USMNT has a budget of $31 and the USWNT of $10 million. While the men still have a 3x greater budget, it is a smaller differential than Australia; a nation that considers itself of the leading countries in gender equity.

Equality in budgeting for men's and women's national teams would not be a new proposal.  It happens in hockey; a sport that has provided plenty of success and gold medals for Australia.

Hockey Australia CEO Cam Vale puts it succinctly:

"The sport [hockey] values girls and boys equally in their club system at grassroots through to the national pathways."

As a realist there is a recognition that small steps are needed to get to the key question and that the travel might be one of those small steps.  However, we also need to start asking the big questions.

To get federations, sporting bodies and players associations - they need to be drivers of this - to be accountable on record about the measures they are taking to achieve equity.

That men and women are provided with the same opportunity is what we should be striving for. A goal that is in line with the spirit of the United States Title IX:

"Title IX is a law passed in 1972 that requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding."

It is one of the reasons the United States are current Women's World Cup champions and 3x defending Olympic Gold medallists.  Until we close these gaps, travel standards proposals will have little effect in the areas where it is greatly needed.

Gender equity funding for national teams is the real edict that would have seen a more transformative effect.