UN Women’s HeForShe Movement published the “Guidelines for Gender-responsive Sports Organizations”

It is a step by step guide on how to develop strategies to become a gender-responsive sports organization and to empower women and girls in and through sports.

UN Women Turkey launched the “Guidelines for Gender-responsive Sports Organizations” – a step by step guide on how to develop strategies to become a gender-responsive sports organization and to empower women and girls in and through sports.

UN Women Turkey developed the Guidelines for Gender-responsive Sports Organizations based on UN Women’s global Sports for Generation Equality initiative, which suggests a six-step framework to make gender equality a lived reality in and through sports. The Guidelines, which are a first of their kind in Turkey, provide a menu of actions and indicators to become an inclusive and gender responsive sports organization.

The launch of the Guidelines for Gender-responsive Sports Organizations was held by UN Women Turkey on June 17th with an online event with the participation of high-level executives of UN Women, important names from the international sports ecosystem, HeForShe Turkey’s partner Fenerbahçe Sports Club and many stakeholders.

The launch was hosted by Sinem Aydın, HeForShe Coordinator of UN Women Turkey. The launch started with the opening remarks of Alia El-Yassir, UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, elaborating on UN Women’s vision for partnering with the sports ecosystem to advance gender equality. “We need the world of sport to step up to lead by example and address the gender inequalities that persist within sports institutions.” said Alia El-Yassir during her opening remark.

A technical presentation of the Guidelines was made by the author Prof. Canan Koca, Hacettepe University Faculty of Sport Sciences and Chairperson of the Executive Board, of Turkish Association of Sport and Physical Activity for Women (KASFAD). “All stakeholders in the sports ecosystem need to cooperate with a gender responsive approach to build an equal future,” said Koca.

The Guidelines are a product of a multi-stakeholder participatory process, including a multinational Advisory Group led by UN Women with substantial contributions from national and international experts in the field of sports and gender equality. The Guidelines are prepared within the partnership of HeForShe Turkey and Fenerbahçe Sports Club, which is supported by Tüpraş, one of Koç Holding’s, companies.

In Turkey, UN Women has cooperated with Fenerbahçe Sports Club under the framework of the HeForShe Movement since 2018. This collaboration represents a first and unique undertaking in Turkey, aimed at making a sports club more inclusive and egalitarian through a holistic framework of analysis, capacity building and measurable actions.

The launch event followed by two panel discussions featuring very important actors of the sports ecosystem worldwide. Representatives from UNESCO, Fenerbahçe Sports Club, UN Women, FIFA and IOC have discussed how the Guidelines are a tool to implement the Principles of Sports for Generation Equality in the first panel, which was moderated by UN Women’s Head of Programmes Zeliha Ünaldı.

The important names that represented these institutions in the panel were: Philipp Müller-Wirth, Executive Officer for Sport and Youth Section Sector for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO, Önder Birgül - Chief Human Resources Officer, Fenerbahçe Sports Club, Jennifer Cooper, Coordinator of Sport for Generation Equality, UN Women , Sarai Bareman, Head of Women’s Football Division, FIFA and Neşe Gündoğan, General Secretary, Turkish National Olympic Committee and Member of the Olympic Programme Commission, International Olympic Committee. Fenerbahçe Sports Club representative Önder Birgül stated: “We continue our work every day with a great consciousness for the empowerment of women and girls.” Fenerbahçe Sports Club announced that they are the first sports club in Turkey to sign Sports for Generation Equality, followed by explaining Fenerbahçe’s commitments.

The second panel featured important umbrella organizations working on gender equality in sports. The representatives who participated in the panel, which was moderated by the sports broadcaster Nihan Cabbaroğlu, shared their reflections on how Sports for Generation Equality contributes to gender equality:

- Dr. Carole Oglesby, Past President & Current Executive Board Member, Women Sport International (WSI) - Prof. Rosa López de D’Amico, the co-author of the Guidelines, UN Women’s counselor and President, International Association of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women (IAPESGW) - Rita van Driel, Governing Board Member, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) - Rachel Froggatt, Secretary General, International Working Group (IWG) on Women & Sport - Marisol Casado, Committee (IOC) - Keri McDonald, Business Development and Fundraising Manager, The Association For International Sport for All (TAFISA) - Dr. Uri Schaefer, President, International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE).

The launch was concluded with the closing remarks of Asya Varbanova, UN Women Country Director of Turkey, thanking everyone who took part in this launch and highlighting the next steps that UN Women will take towards partnering with the sports ecosystem to advance gender equality in and through sports.

Watch the full event here.