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FC Barcelona is strengthening its bid to keep working towards gender equality both in the world of sport and in society in general, and on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8 it is pushing its new #WeAreAllDifferent8M campaign.
Until we accept that we are all different - women and women, women and men, men and men - it will not be possible to achieve parity. This is the concept behind the awareness action that Barça is promoting this year, and which is reflected in a video starring different male and female Barça players, together with different women associated to the club, as they highlight the important role they play in its day-to-day activities.
The launch of the video is the culmination of the club’s campaign, which advocates the need to recognise diversity in order to advance towards equality. An associated call was made this weekend before the league matches played by Barça’s different teams. The women’s and men’s team walked onto the pitch wearing a special edition of the home kit that focuses on their distinguishing attributes in the form of a patch asking the question “What makes you different?”
The names on the backs of their shirts were replaced by a relevant character trait, showing why each player is different, all of which were specifically chosen by each of the players. The women went for words like AMBITION, STRENGTH, COURAGE, PASSION and PERFORMANCE, while the men opted for EFFORT, RESPECT and OPTIMISM. The shirts were also printed with the letter and number 8M, in reference to the date of International Women’s Day.
Both teams also wore a lilac armband during the match, as did the handball and roller hockey teams for their games this Saturday, as did the amateur sports teams too.
After Saturday’s matches, several of the special shirts worn by the men and women players will be auctioned off to raise funds for the Barça Foundation’s inclusion programs.
Along with the match actions, the club’s social networks will be inviting fans to showcase diversity by posting profile pictures of themselves making the mathematical symbol of difference (≠) and using the hashtag #WeAreAllDifferent8M. In similar fashion, Barça’s social media accounts will be publishing different images throughout the day of Barça players making the same sign.
Barça and women
Different women have played a part in Barça’s history, starting with Edelmira Calvetó, who in 1913, under the presidency of Joan Gamper, was admitted as a Barcelona member despite the rules and conventions of the time limiting such status to men only.
In her honour, in 2011 Barça set up the Edelmira Calvetó Group, whose purpose is to recover the historical memory of Barça women, vindicating the role of female members, promoting the presence of women at the club and reflecting on the role of women in sport. The association’s activities include the Edelmira Calvetó Award for people or groups who have worked for equality and recognition of women, and the Edelmira Calvetó Scholarship, launched together with the UPC to promote professional access to the worlds of sports and technology for women studying Computer Engineering or Telecommunications.
Another woman who played a big part in the club’s history was Ana Maria Sagi, the first woman to feature on the Board of Directors, in 1934 under the presidency of Josep Suñol. At the age of 27, she embodied the independent, modern woman and championed the struggle for women to be given their rightful place in society.
The Barça Foundation includes the gender perspective on its own programs in a transversal way. It encourages young women to take part in its programs, both as participants and as instructors - to the extent that on some projects there are now more female instructors than men.
This year, Barça is also marking the 50th anniversary of the first match played on 25 December 1970 at the Camp Nou by Selecció Ciutat Barcelona team, considered to be the embryo of Barça’s women’s football team. As part of the commemorative events, on January 6 the Barça women’s team, which has been playing at the Estadi Johan Cruyff since 2019, played the very first competitive fixture since its professionalisation at the Camp Nou against RCD Espanyol.That milestone that came six years after the team became the first professional women’s team in Spain in 2015.
The team also went on the first mixed tour of the United States in 2018, the same year it closed a ground-breaking sponsorship deal with STANLEY, whereby the US brand became the first sponsor of the team shirt. An alliance based on such shared values as effort, ambition and respect has given new drive and visibility to women’s sport.
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