Fenerbahçe Sports Club Kicks Off International Collaboration With HeForShe

Fenerbahçe Sports Club joined forces with the HeForShe, a global solidarity movement for gender equality initiated in September 2014 by UN Women. Koc group has been themain supporter of the movement in Turkey since its national launch in March 2015. The collaboration was announced to the world with a grand event during the Fenerbahçe–Aytemiz Alanyaspor match at the Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium on Sunday, 11 November.

Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Senior Advisor to Under Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women, and Global Head of the HeForShe Initiative, came to Turkey for the launch and watched the game at the stadium with Fenerbahçe Sports Club President Ali Y. Koç, Tüpraş General Manager İbrahim Yelmenoğlu, and Koç Group Director of Corporate Communications and External Affairs Oya Ünlü Kızıl. 
The Fenerbahçe Sports Club Soccer Team came out to the pitch wearing the HeForShe logo on their right arm and carrying the "Equal Together" banner. Also, for this match alone, the numbers in the back of the jerseys were painted in magenta, the HeForShe official brand color.The giant flag opened in the middle of the pitch called out the "Equal Together" message and, before the match, a manifesto was read to the whole stadium, expressing the Fenerbahçe Soccer Club's commitment to gender equality. The stadium screens featured messages drawing attention to gender equality by Fenerbahçe players. 
Setting an example to national and global sports clubs
Enjoying huge backing from society with over 25 million supporters worldwide, Fenerbahçe Sports Club aims to mobilize the public on gender equality as part of the collaboration. Fenerbahçe plans to start a number initiatives to raise the issue in the sports community's agenda, setting an example to national and global sports clubs with its equality messages as an inclusive sports club, women and children friendly stadium practices, and its zero-tolerance approach to all sorts of discrimination against women and girls. There will be gender equality trainings across the board in the Club and the players, the technical team and the Club employees will become spokespersons for the cause. By establishing partnerships for gender equality, Fenerbahçe will invite other sports blubs in Turkey to support the HeForShe movement. Fenerbahçe Soccer Team will be wearing the HeForShe logo on their right arm.
Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Senior Advisor to Under Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women, and Global Head of the HeForShe Initiative, Fenerbahçe Sports Club President Ali Y. Koç, Tüpraş General Manager İbrahim Yelmenoğlu, and Koç Holding Director of Corporate Communications and External Affairs Oya Ünlü Kızıl met with the members of the press prior to the launch to talk about the details of the collaboration. 
Elizabeth Nyamayaro: “Gender equality ensures full benefits of sports for all”
 “We are excited to be partnering with Fenerbahçe Football Club in support of UN Women’s work for gender equality and women’s empowerment. As part of the HeForShe movement, UN Women is committed to bringing more men into the gender equality conversation as allies to women around the world, as well as roles models who can galvanize a generation of young men and boys who chose to stand on the right side of history where all genders are equal. Since its launch in 2014 at the United Nations, HeForShe has played an instrumental part in solidifying the idea that men can play a role in advancing gender equality for all. With an ambitious goal of mobilizing over 1 billion HeForShe activists, both online and offline, HeForShe is extending its reach to all corners of society, including sports. Gender equality in sports is a hot topic, not only because of the vast pay discrepancies between female and male athletes, the under-investment in women’s sports, but also because of the unfortunate reality that sports arenas have been documented to be a breeding ground for anti-social behavior. With increased gender equality in sports, we can begin to not only address these issues, but reap the full benefits of sports for all. Sports can be a tool for the empowerment of women; building young girl’s confidence and socializing young adults. We are inspired by Fenerbahçe’s dedication to unite their fans and community to stand in support of this important cause. Sport can be a unifier and this partnership highlights its positive values and how it can be a core instrument for good, on and off the pitch.” said Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Senior Advisor to Under Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women, and Global Head of the HeForShe Initiative.

Ali Y. Koç: “We are joining forces with the HeForShe movement.”
Fenerbahçe President Ali Y. Koç expressed excitement for starting a new era in the national and international sports community for the gender equality initiative: “We see many things that are happening for the first time.  For the first time in its history Fenerbahçe wears a logo on the arm.  Again for the first time ever, we are supporting an international movement with an international agency. For the first time, for this special occasion, the numbers on the back of the jerseys of our Soccer Team Players were painted in magenta. I also would like to talk about how this project was initiated. During my election campaign, I tried to emphasize a couple of  issues.  I said, we have to embrace a sports culture that includes gentlemenship, sportspersonship, solidarity, fairness; other than hatred.  We kicked off this season with ‘Respect Again’ theme.  In the long run, we aim to enshrine a non-abusive language throughout the stadium. I always emphasize that Fenerbahçe should take the lead and be a pioneer, at every occasion. We would like to be acknowledged as a club that creates value for the society and a club that enhances the quality of the life of the people. Since the first day, as a sports club appealing to millions of fans, we have been stating our goal to become a distinctive soccer club with aspirations of instilling a change of attitude. I believe that Fenerbahçe should lead this cause.  According to a study, in our country, 35 percent of women and 66 percent of men are interested in sports, while 49 percent of women are interested in soccer and this rate goes up to 86 percent for men. Therefore, we see a huge potential that will trigger transformation and change. We decided to join forces with the HeForShe movement. All the parties saw a valuable opportunity here. Expanding this partnership to the years to come, I strongly believe that we will achieve results that will go beyond our expectations. I extend my gratitude to all the parties included.  Until now, various international sports clubs have partnered with NGOs for social responsibility projects. However, as far as we know, there are no other examples that include such a commitment at this scale. Therefore, I believe that this collaboration will set a unique example internationally.  Our goal is to achieve gender equality transformation through sports in our country and internationally.We will start by cleaning our backyard first. Our soccer team players, technical staff, board of directors and all club members including us, will be trained about gender equality.  We aim to make our sports facilities family-friendly. Making this transformation a part of our DNA is not straightforward. Once we achieve this internally, we will then spread this cause to our entire community.”
İbrahim Yelmenoğlu: “Our Energy Never Ends for Equality.”
Tüpraş General Manager İbrahim Yelmenoğlu said that, as Turkey's largest industrial enterprise, Tüpraş bears a responsibility to lead social change and transformation. "As a leading and pioneering company in the energy industry, we are conducting numerous projects ranging from education and healthcare to culture, arts and sports to contribute to our country's social development. Since 2015, we have been focusing on gender equality. As part of our Group's 'I Support Gender Equality for My Country' project, we give our all to create awareness both at the workplace and in society with far-reaching initiatives that aim to empower women. In 2017, we signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles, announcing to the whole world our goal to become an inclusive workplace. Today, by moving our goal to the field of soccer, we believe we will create a wider awareness for equality in society along with the millions of Fenerbahçe supporters.  We are on a journey to bring gender equality to society's agenda with the statement, ‘Our Energy Never Ends for Equality’ and we are crowning our collaboration with Fenerbahçe with the HeforShe movement.”

  • Fenerbahçe Sports Club, 
  • is taking action for gender equality 
  • with a century-old legacy and values, its soccer,  
  • basketball, volleyball, table tennis branches, athletes and players that proudly represent the team in the Olympics in 
  • sailing, rowing, athletics, box and swimming, and millions of devout supporters.
  • Fenerbahçe Sports Club supports the ‘HeforShe’movement, started by UN Women with its statement, "We can achieve gender equality only if women and men stand together.
  • We say ‘Equal Together’for a better society and a better and brighter future, and; 
  • Embrace All Colors with our Yellow and Dark Blue. 
  • Thousands of athletes, women and men, 
  • Hundreds of employees, women and men, 
  • Members of Board of Directors, women and men, 
  • Millions of supporters, women and men, 
  • We are JOINING FORCES with HeForShe to become a leader and serve as an example. 
  • We invite all colors to join us in this causeand champion social gender equality.
Fenerbahçe Sports Club will strive to achieve gender equality to; 
  • allow zero-tolerance for all discrimination against women and girls,
  • end sexist chants,
  • increase the number of women and girls in sports as both players and fans 
  • set an example in society with our athletes, 
  • become an inclusive sports club.