UN Women and Valencia CF score goals for gender equality

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04.11.2015 – The evening of the 4th of November will be a great night, not only for football supporters, but also for gender equality advocates. KAA Gent (Belgium) will confront Valencia CF (Spain) at home for a special Champions League match. The UN Women logo will feature on the back of Valencia CF’s jerseys for the next 4 years in the prestigious Champions League tournament and other European competitions.

This is the first time UN Women has joined forces with a professional sports team. UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and Valencia CF’s chairwoman, Lay Hoon Chan, announced the partnership at UN Headquarters in New York on 26 May 2015. Ms. Chan is the first woman to hold this position in the club’s history as well as the only female chairperson of a top football club in the Spanish league.

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UN Women’s effort to reach out to men and boys as drivers of change is in line with the HeForShe campaign, launched in 2014 with the aim of “bringing together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity”.

Unfortunately, no single country today has achieved total gender equality. In many parts of the world, girls are denied access to education and still unable to participate in politics. Even in countries with a higher standard of living, women are often paid less than their male colleagues, according to the World Bank.

In countries torn apart by conflicts, rape is commonly used as a weapon of war. Women and girls are also widely trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery. UNICEF reports that 720 million women were married before their 18th birthday and over 140 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

UN initiatives including both men and women are therefore essential to achieving gender equality around the world.

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UNRIC’s Related Links:

•   Official Website: UN Women

•   Official Website: HeForShe

•   Official Website: Valencia CF

 

Photo Credits: UN Women