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Valencia kicks into U.N. campaign for women's equality

27 May 2015, 13:03

New York - Spanish football club Valencia CF has scored a new first for a professional sports club by teaming up with the U.N. gender equality organisation in its global campaign to engage men and boys in the fight for women's rights.

Players for Valencia Club de Fútbol (CF), one of Europe's major football teams, will don jerseys with U.N. Women's logo in support of gender equality during European tournaments such as the prestigious Champions League, it said.

"U.N. Women is dedicated to bringing more men and boys into the gender equality conversation. Valencia's players are strong role models who will lead by example and inspire their vast fan base," U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said in a statement.

The club will introduce the new jerseys during an event in Columbus, Ohio, on May 27.

Special matches and initiatives will take place over the next four years in Spain and across the globe as part of the collaboration.

Also read: Prince Ali says FIFA arrests a 'sad day' for football

Valencia CF is the only club in the top Spanish league to have a female chairwoman, Lay Hoon Chan.

"This is a long-term commitment to really help make a difference to expand advocacy efforts towards gender equality," said Chan, the first woman to chair the club in its 96-year history.

Last year, U.N. Women launched the HeforShe campaign to engage men and boys in support of women's rights, with Harry Potter actress Emma Watson taking a starring role.

So far more than 300,000 men have pledged their commitment online, according to the HeForShe website, including U.S. President Barack Obama and actor Matt Damon, but there is a target to mobilise 1 billion men and boys by July this year.

- Reuters


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