To celebrate the 8th of March, UNFPA and Bahia Sport Club make official the partnership and campaign #ZeroViolence against Women

9 Março 2020
The representative of UNFPA Brazil, Astrid Bant, and the club's president, Guilherme Bellintani (Midiã Noelle/UNFPA Brasil)

The United Nations Population Fund Brazil and Bahia Sport Club had launched officially, on last Saturday afternoon, 7, at Arena Fonte Nova, the campaign #ZeroViolence against Women. The occasion, which also celebrated the 8th of March - International Day of Women, marked the signing ceremony of an agreement (MoU) between the soccer team and the international organization. The representative of UNFPA Brazil, Astrid Bant, and the president of Bahia Club, Guilherme Bellintani, signed the document.

“This partnership comes from the fact that sport, especially soccer, is an excellent space for the promotion of human rights, and Bahia Sport Club has developed actions towards that”, highlighted Astrid Bant. The representative reinforced the importance to tackle gender-based violence, one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
“We will not be able to reach the SDG goals and ensure the well-living of all people, including reaching the end of violence against women and girls, if there isn’t investment in gender equality”, Bant added.
To Belintani, the campaign is aligned with the club’s goals of human rights promotion through soccer. According to the club’s president, the Bahia team has been developing campaigns with social impact since 2018.

“Soccer ends up being an expression of everything that happens in our society and, unfortunately, not only the good things. Despite the many joys it brings to us, it also brings a space of lots of intolerance and prejudice. What Bahia Sport Club and UNFPA is doing is to give a small contribution so these problems are reduced and challenged, exposing our wounds”, he said.

Besides the document’s signing, the players entered the field wearing customized jerseys from the campaign #ZeroViolence against Women. Girls escorted the athletes in the beginning of the game and a campaign video was shown at the stadium big screen during the break for the second half of the game against Confiança, the visiting team. The plan of activities also includes workshops about gender-based violence organized by UNFPA to boys from lower divisions and the club partners.

After the end of the game, the official cheerleader group of Bahia, the Tricolíderes, made a perform about how to face violence against women. “We live in a space where men are the majority and we want to awake an understanding about the consequences and impacts of all forms of violence for us, women”, shared Julia Azevedo, lider of the cheerleader group, who lifted signs during the perform with words like “feminism”, “respect”, “Zero Violence” and others. “The partnership with UNFPA straightened our idea.”

Astrid Bant attended the event with Michele Dantas, project officer of UNFPA in Bahia. For the 8th of March, they also visited the Casa Respeita as Mina (House of Respect for Girls), a project of the State Secretary of Policies for Women, and talked to the secretary, Julieta Palmeira. The project is a safe space to provide guidance about how to tackle all forms of violence against women.