Fenerbahçe once again led the way and became a signatory to “Women’s Empowerment Principles” of the United Nations

18 May 2020 Monday 15:42

Our club has become a signatory of the United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which aim to empower women to ensure that they can participate in economic life in all sectors and at all levels.

Created in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the WEPs are known globally as one of the most important initiatives of the private sector.

As Fenerbahçe Sports Club, we launched a global first in 2018 with the support of WEPs signatory Tüpraş, one of the Koç Group companies, and announced that we support the HeforShe Movement initiated by UN Women and the principle that “We can only achieve equality when women and men stand shoulder to shoulder”.

Since 2018 and as part of the cooperation with Tüpraş and HeForShe, our club has taken countless steps for girls, women, and gender equality as Turkey's largest and most powerful non-governmental organization. Our club declares that “We are equal!” for a better society, a better future, and a brighter tomorrow. Social gender analysis, which is one of the most important conditions to realise the Women's Empowerment Principles, was completed for our Sports Club and our affiliated companies in 2019, and based on this analysis, a gender-sensitive road map for our club was created. Education on gender equality was held to increase capacity for athletes, technical teams, and employees and our special training for different target groups is ongoing. While continuing our activities to be an inclusive sports club and to achieve gender equality in sports and with sports, our next step was to join the Women's Empowerment Principles Platform.

As Fenerbahçe Sports Club, we accept that gender equality is the most important factor in the development of societies, and we take on our responsibility to spread gender equality to all areas of life. In this context, our club Fenerbahçe, a global collaborator of the HeForShe movement in the field of sports, broke new ground in our country and in Europe by becoming a signatory to the Women's Empowerment Principles in February.

We continue to work towards gender equality by strengthening our cooperation with HeForShe with the Women's Empowerment Principles we have signed.

Our partner and Turkey's largest company Tüpraş is also conducting activities both at work and directed towards society to raise awareness for women's empowerment with the slogan of “Our energy for equality never ends”.

Fenerbahçe Board Member Simla Türker Bayazıt: We are proud to add another step to what we have been doing for women and girls for a year and a half and be a signatory to the WEPs.

Noting the importance of the WEPs platform, Fenerbahçe Board Member Simla Türker Bayazıt stated that “As Fenerbahçe Sports Club, we realized a first with the UN Women's Entity a year and a half ago with the support of Tüpraş and announced that we are the supporter of the HeForShe movement as a leading sports club.”

Our club is an organisation that has added value to sport, trained athletes, and has benefitted the future of the country throughout its history but which is today also taking many steps in the context of social responsibility as Turkey's largest non-governmental organization with millions of fans. Our club Fenerbahçe, which reaches out to society with these steps, has only one aim: to benefit the society and country to which it belongs with the brand power that it has.

We support the HeForShe movement, which aims at gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, with these goals.

As Fenerbahçe, we have taken countless steps to increase the participation of women and girls in sports, both on the field and in the stands, to make them aware of their rights, and to end violence against women.

The initiatives we have conducted have meant that we have become example for our rivals. One of the final steps of our club in this regard was the signing of the WEPs in February, which has been a great source of pride for us.

We, as Fenerbahçe, are now following global developments in this area where we have taken on an important role and support the continuous increase of the effect and awareness that the Women’s Empowerment Principles, set up in the body of the United Nations, has created in Turkey and across the world.

What are the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs)?

The view that gender equality is the most important factor in the development of societies is now accepted at all levels, from international organizations to governments, from non-governmental organizations to the business world. In addition, civil society, politics, and academia, as well as the private sector, undertake various responsibilities to promote gender equality in all areas of working life.

One of the most important indicators that companies have started to fulfil these responsibilities is that they are working on this framework by signing the “Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs)”. The WEPs are a leading tool for the 2030 agenda and the institutional activities for the gender dimension of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. By joining the WEPs family, CEOs make a commitment to gender equality at the company's top level and implement business practices that empower women.

The WEPs, a joint initiative of UN Women and UN Global Compact, was developed at the end of a year's work and negotiations of a multi-stakeholder group of business, non-governmental organizations, universities, local governments and public institutions, and UN representatives, and was introduced to the public on the 8 March 2010. Since then, business leaders, women entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, and governments continue to discuss and develop the WEPs by gathering at the "WEPs Annual Conference".

The WEPs, which consist of 7 basic principles, aim to contribute to strengthening the current efforts of the private sector towards gender equality, developing corporate policies and programmes, and analysing the current work, basic indicators, and reporting practices.

The seven basic principles are:

  • Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
  • Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination
  • Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
  • Principle 4: Promote education, training, and professional development for women
  • Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
  • Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
  • Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality
While addressing the issue of gender equality, companies which are signatories to the WEPs are expected to take steps and many initiatives in line with their goals and needs by taking into account many different variables such as the sector they are in, their institutional cultures, their current situation regarding gender equality and their impact areas.