HeForShe Partner Fenerbahçe Sports Club commits to gender equality principles on and off the playing field

One of Turkey’s sports establishment’s most prominent members, Fenerbahçe Sports Club signs on to UN Women's Sports for Generation Equality Initiative, committing to making gender-equality a reality on and off the playing field.


HeForShe logo on football jerseys, launch of the partnership in 2018. Photo: Fenerbahce Sports Club
HeForShe logo on football jerseys, launch of the partnership in 2018. Photo: Fenerbahce Sports Club

Sports can empower women and girls by removing barriers to gender equality and discrimination in sports and helping transform the world beyond. In June 2021, Fenerbahçe Sports Club signed on to UN Women’s Sport for Generation Equality Initiative.

This committed Fenerbahçe, one of Turkey’s largest and most prominent sports clubs, to becoming a gender-responsive sports organization that uses sports to foster gender equality across Turkish society.

Begun in 2020 by UN Women, the global Sport for Generation Equality Initiative is a six-step plan that invites the sports ecosystem to join a powerful multi-stakeholder coalition and make gender equality a reality in and through sports.

As part of its gender equality activities, Fenerbahçe will support the HeForShe Turkey’s path-breaking Guidelines for Gender-responsive Sports Organizations – which translates the Sport for Generation Equality Initiative’s principles into a concrete, comprehensive set of actions for sports organizations to empower women and girls and promote gender equality.

“I hope that the Guidelines for Gender-Responsive Sports Organizations, which intend to implement the principles of Sports for Generation Equality Initiative in a concrete and comprehensive fashion, will be of use for a wide range of stakeholders in sports, and lead and guide them,” said Simla Türker Bayazıt, Fenerbahçe Sports Club Executive Board Member.

Developed in 2020-2021, the Guidelines are based on activities and indicators for each of the six global Generation Equality Principles:

  • Undertake efforts to promote women’s leadership and gender equality in governance models
  • Undertake efforts to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in and through sport
  • Undertake to close the gap in investment in women’s sport and promote equal economic opportunities for women and girls
  • Undertake efforts to promote women’s equal participation and bias-free representation in sports media, including communications to eliminate harmful gender stereotypes and to promote positive role models
  • Undertake efforts to support equal opportunities for girls in sports, physical activity and physical education
  • Agree to monitor and publicly report on progress on an annual basis

HeForShe Turkey has been collaborating with Fenerbahçe Sports Club with the support of Tüpraş since 2018 to make gender equality a reality in and through sports. This partnership represents the first initiative to make a sports club more inclusive and gender-responsive, using a holistic framework with measurable indicators. Fenerbahçe Sports Club became the first sports club in Europe and Turkey to sign the United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in 2020.