Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

Fenerbahce Sports Club in Turkey drives powerful campaign with the message, #ZeroTolerance on violence against women

Date: Monday, December 14, 2020

The Fenerbahçe soccer team wore orange t-shirts and firefly masks to raise awareness before their match on November 26.  Photo: Fenerbahçe Sports Club
The Fenerbahçe soccer team wore orange t-shirts and firefly masks to raise awareness before their match on November 26. Photo: Fenerbahçe Sports Club

HeForShe Turkey partner Fenerbahçe Sports Club, one of the biggest sports clubs in Turkey, drove a powerful campaign for this years’ 16 Days of Activism to raise awareness and call for the elimination of violence against women and girls by demanding #ZeroTolerance.

On 25 November, Fenerbahçe announced a manifesto on Twitter to combat violence against women. Twenty famous athletes from different club branches participated on Twitter, flooding the social media platform with Fenerbahçe’s messages from the new manifesto. Fenerbahçe also published its manifesto online with a video showing Fenerbahçe Sport Club employees and the club president, Ali Koç calling for #ZeroTolerance to violence against women.

The HeForShe-Fenerbahçe collaboration aims to ensure gender equality through the power of sport

Burak Çağlan Kızılhan, the General Secretary of the Fenerbahce Sports Club, Simla Türker Bayazıt, a member of the Club’s Executive Board and Zeliha Ünaldı, Programmes Manager of UN Women Turkey, spoke to Fenerbahce TV about the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. They also dis-cussed cyber violence and Fenerbahce’s planned activities for the 16 Days campaign. In addition, different experts from UN Women, academia and civil society organizations appeared as guests on Fenerbahce TV during the 16 Days to speak about how to combat violence against women and girls from different perspectives.

Support on Fireflies Campaign to raise awareness on cyber violence

Fenerbahçe Sport Club also invited their employees, athletes and all sports fans to light a firefly by visiting www.fireflies.digital to support UN Women Turkey’s Fireflies campaign. This campaign puts a spotlight on cyber violence, raising awareness about the issue. Fenerbahçe football, basketball and volleyball teams wore orange t-shirts during the 16 Days campaign period; and athletes participated further by sharing videos where they lit a firefly to illuminate the dark.

The Fenerbahçe Sports Club #ZeroTolerance manifesto was beamed across outdoor screens at club stadiums. Photo: Fenerbahçe Sports Club
The Fenerbahçe Sports Club #ZeroTolerance manifesto was beamed across outdoor screens at club stadiums. Photo: Fenerbahçe Sports Club

Fenerbahçe Sports Club joined forces with the HeForShe movement in 2018 with the support of Tüpraş, one of the companies under Koç Holding, an Impact Champion of HeForShe. The aim of the collaboration is to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through sport across the country. The Club's fan base is estimated to be more than 25 mil-lion people worldwide.

As a result of the HeForShe collaboration, the Fenerbahçe Sport Club aims to become a gender-responsive sports club and set an example nationally and globally. In 2019, a gender analysis of the Fenerbahçe Sport Club was completed to ensure that gender inequalities are taken into account at all stages of their work. Based on the results, a roadmap for becoming a gender-responsive sports club has been developed. In addition to capacity building trainings for employees, athletes and technical staff, Fenerbahçe advocates for ending violence against women and challenging stereotypes in sport.