Case clear for equal World Cup fees but those building women's game face more complex battle in provinces.
Compare the Black Ferns' World Cup triumph last week with the All Blacks' campaign of 2015 and the contrast is stark.
While the women earn $2000 in match fees, the men earn $7500.
The men are also paid annual retainers that range from $195,000 to $850,000 and have a bonus structure in place which meant victory brought them each an additional $100,000. Victory brought the Black Ferns a lovely welcome at Auckland Airport.
The women had to fly home economy class after playing five games in 17 days; the men reclined in their business seats, having played seven games in 43 days with endless gripes aired about the one occasion during the pool stages when they had a four-day gap between tests.
World Rugby's rules meant that the All Blacks could have 31 players and 15 coaching staff; the women were allowed 28 players and six coaching staff. Inevitably, given the vast differences in payment and treatment, the question has to be asked whether this is a case of discrimination. Is this another example of a gender pay gap?
The answer, in the context of the respective World Cup campaigns, is yes.
It is unfair and wrong that the pinnacle event of women's rugby is valued so lowly in comparison with the men's pinnacle event.
The respective World Cups may be of different lengths, the workloads are not the same and the intensity varies but the same arguments were once made about grand slam tennis events. Grand slam tennis organisers used to justify massive discrepancies in prize money by saying women played best of three sets, men best of five. The counter argument, that has successfully been made at major events at least, is that women deliver comparable entertainment value.
The same principle can surely be applied to rugby World Cups and the case made that the Black Ferns should receive the same $7500 match fees, $100,000 bonus and business class flights.
The economics behind the tournament or the relative size of the audiences generated shouldn't be relevant to any discussion about pay.
The Black Ferns and All Blacks go to their respective tournaments with the same goal, under the same pressures with the same expectations. Why shouldn't the pay, therefore, be the same?
New Zealand Rugby's head of women's rugby development, Kate Sexton, says making a direct comparison is difficult given the difference in the maturity of mens and women's rugby, but that it is timely to be asking such questions about the World Cup.
"I don't think women's rugby is at the same stage of evolution as the men's," says Sexton. "But there is no comparison in the figures and I think it would be good to review things."
Sexton would obviously like the Black Ferns to be paid more than they are at the World Cup, but can't support those who are arguing for the creation of a professional set-up to match the male landscape. That may be a valid end goal, but the development priority in the short term is the grassroots and provincial game.
The battle for Sexton and all those involved in building women's rugby in New Zealand is persuading provincial unions they are looking at an opportunity and not a cost.
Provincial unions haven't shown enough of an appetite to build meaningful club competitions and while their investment in women's rugby has increased in recent years, it's tiny given what has gone into the men's.
Attitudes seem to persist within unions that they follow an economic model where they invest heavily in their top male side, hope success there brings more investment which can then fund community teams, including women's programmes.
There's little evidence this model works and there's growing frustration for those working in women's rugby that if provincial unions were serious about growing women's rugby, they would invest in it directly rather than pump it all into the men's team and hope it trickles down.
New Zealand Rugby has increased it's payout to the top 14 provinces by $9.5 million in recent years, but hasn't stipulated a specific amount has to be invested in the women's game.
The question for NZR is whether they can continue to be hands off or if the time has come for them to stipulate specific amounts that unions have to invest in women's rugby.
Having seen the audience reaction to the World Cup, Sexton is convinced that if unions are bold, take the risk of pumping money into women's rugby it will become financially self-sufficient, if not profitable, in a relatively short period of time.