A professional chess player has to negociate his/her own pay.
Before Fischer no one in the west could live of chess.
I can even imagine an organiser willing to pay more for a female player of equal strength because it adds interest to his tournament. Strong female chess players may be higher in demand and lower in supply, thus higher in price.
You mention "strength" - female players do have the same access to open tournaments, but otherwise may lack the social and professional connections to gain access to other events. I'm not sure how player strength can be measured without equivalent access to resources (invitational events, team events, etc.) since traveling to play in open tournaments can be costly and also deficient to one's rating (because in large open events, many players are underrated).
Open tournaments are not that lucrative and are detrimental to chess deveopment: the top players basically give chess lessons to the weaker players and get a modest prize fee and often not even a starting fee as compensation.
If I were to organise an invitational tournament of say 8 players, then in spot 8 I would rather have a female of the same elo rating than a male, and so will public and sponsors.
Well, why is there even a separate "Womens chess" to begin with? Why not simply assign the normal "GM","IM" or "FM" titles?
#43 Having played in invitational and team events, I can say that those opportunities - which I don't believe are equally accessible to women - are at least as good, if not better, for chess skills development. In fact, my participation in open tournaments (both sectional and otherwise) mainly consists of 1-sided games, where invitational and team events result in a much more competitive field.
If I were to organize an invitational tournament, I might not know what female players are interested in participating. It's not a matter of the TD's preference, they simply might not know (or might know but lack contact information).
(I'm not trying to be argumentative for argument's sake; I'm trying to address the tone of #1 which implies that women aren't good at chess and that there might be a simple explanation.)
It is simple: consult the rating list, then google for facebook or linkedin or whatever account and then contact. Very strong female players always were invited to important events.
When you consider the fragile egos and social ineptitude of most of the spotty, nose-picking boys with dubious hygiene who take up chess as a substitute for their inabilities in more manly pursuits, it is hardly surprising that girls avoid the activity like the plague.
@Necr0mancer for the exact same reason why we have women's athletics, women's tennis, women's basketball, etc. We are different, men are better at some stuff, women are better at some other. I don't see what's the big deal about it. Everyone knows that, just look around you.
@LukaCro I haven't read the whole thread, only #44 an #48 but I think @Necr0mancer asked a valid question and disagree with your answer. You may be right of course and I am totally open to being proved wrong by you or any member reading this but while your argument concerning sports where physical endowments are involved seem on a sound footing, I don't believe it applies to chess. On the face of it, I don't see why men, as a class, should be intrinsically better than women, as a class as far as the practice of chess is concerned. I tend to believe that the existence of "Mens" and "Womens" chess is wholly unrelated to intrinsic ability but has now become so entrenched that social inertia of a conservative ruling body largely explains its continued existence. Regards, Pix.
P.S.: Those who enjoy this type of subject might be interested in the following:
I respect anyone's opinion, but I think that we are so indoctrinated with gender equality that it became politically incorrect to state some obvious differences between males and females. But the reality doesn't care about political correctness. Men are just better at some stuff (chess included) and women are just better at some other. You can try to explain it away, but facts are just facts.
I wouldn't mind at all to put men and women in the same category in chess, but the effect would be almost the same as you put men and women in the same category in tennis. Yes, there would be some extraordinary women who would be able to compete with some men, but men would dominate in the world top.
For those ready to take the "red pill" about this issue, I recommend this short documentary: