Football unites to mark international day against gender-based violence24 November 2016

OnNovember25ththeworldoffootballwillrallyaroundtheUnitedNationsWomen(UNW)‘OrangetheWorld’campaigntoeradicatesexismandgender-basedviolenceaspartoftheInternationalDayfortheEliminationofViolenceagainstWomen.

The campaign, which starts on 25th November and ends on Human Rights Day on 10th December, consists of a 16 day-long initiative to raise public awareness and mobilise across the world to bring about positive change and promote a future without violence.

Attending a special event around the campaign, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcukva said: “The extent to which violence is embedded in society means that uprooting it is also a job for all of society. That includes men and women, the media and the religious community. We can work together to address the inequality and prejudice that enable and enflame violence against women and girls,”

Galvanising global attention
From Afghanistan to Argentina, a number of football related initiatives will help galvanise global attention, highlighting the capacity of sport to change attitudes and help prevent violence against girls and wom20161122_nonunadimeno_fullen.

Over the weekend, matches across Italian men’s and women’s leagues will be dedicated to the day under the theme ‘Dare un calcio alla violenza sulle donne’ translated as:  ‘Give a kick to violence against women’.

Team captains will read awareness-raising messages at all men’s Serie B, Lega Pro e Serie D and women’s Serie A and B matches. Players will also wear a red ribbon in solidarity with the cause. The campaign will be present on social media through the hash tag #NonUnaDiMeno.

“Violence cannot be fought with violence, but with culture. Sport, football, fitness can and should be helping teach the values of self-respect and respect for the other.” explained by Sandro Morgana, director of women’s football at the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti.

Spanish second division side Cádiz CF allocated 1.500 tickets at the price of one euro for female fans for their game against Alcorcón on 20th November as part of the series of action of the Andalusian club on gender-based violence.

Ahead of the day, the women’s football commission of the Spanish Players’ Association (AFE) organised a series of talks amongst players to shed light on the contributes of international players.

In Ponferrada, in the Spanish province of Léon, the literary competition ‘Women and Sport’ awarded the first prize to ‘Por fin ha llegado el día’ (ENG ‘They day has finally arrived’) of Omar Yáñez Posado on the challenges and discrimination faced by a girl that wants to play in a team of boys.

In Afghanistan, the multinational military formation Train Advise Assist Command West (TAAC W) organised a match to raise awareness of women’s rights, which was preceded by a meeting on gender issues, including women’s political, social and economic achievements.

Over the weekend, Buenos Aires hosted the first festival of women’s football in Latin America organised by La Nuestra Fútbol Femenino and backed by Fare, which brought together teams from the region and Germany to play a four-day tournament and participate on a series of workshops on anti-discrimination, LGBTIQ rights, gender equality, female empowerment and women’s football.

On a similar note, the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea, which will be running until 3 December, is providing a platform for an awareness campaign focussed on ending violence towards women and children.

The #ENDviolence campaign, part of the event’s legacy programme, focuses on changing perceptions towards women and violence in ten Pacific nations through a series of initiatives, including: the Walk for Life; the hosting of a workshop for female sports journalists aimed at promoting women in sport and amplifying women’s voices in sports coverage; and a volunteer programme seeking to increase employability amongst young people and creating female role models.

European Commission contribute to fight gender-based
To mark the day, the European Commission published a study on gender-based violence in sport, looking to shed light on the phenomenon.

The study provides an overview of the legal and policy frameworks in the Member States, describes initiatives promoted by sport organisations, identifies best practices in fighting gender-based violence in sport and makes concrete recommendations for future actions, targeting different actors, from the European Commission to the Member States and sport organisations.

It focuses on the coach-athlete relationship, the entourage of the athlete (managers, doctors, physiotherapists etc) and the peer –to-peer athlete relationship. Special attention was devoted to children and the study explicitly included violence against LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer and Intersex.) people.  The study covered both elite/professional sport and grassroots sport.

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