Fair play project

Project  № 63/21.07.2021

The “Fair Game” project is implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project is to improve gender equality and help battle gender-based violence in sports.

The project will present the understanding of “Fair Play” as sportsmanship that excludes all forms of violence in sports, including gender-based violence.

Today, September 1, 2021 the “Bokaya” association, in partnership with the “Bilitis” foundation, started the implementation of the “Fair Game” project, which is financed by the ACTIVE CITIZENS BULGARIA FUND under the FM of the EEA 2014-2021.

The project is implemented under Thematic Priority No. 4: Increasing the contribution of civil organizations to gender equality and prevention of gender-based violence.

In our country, the problem of “fair play” and sportsmanship is insufficiently researched, but many sports publications show unequivocally that gender stereotypes are one of the causes of insults and aggression in sports. Sporadic media scandals also reveal the presence of sexual violence against women in sports. The project addresses a problem that is not talked about in our country: discrimination based on gender and gender identity, and gender-based violence in sports.

Our main goal is to improve gender equality and help fight gender-based violence in sports.

The approach we have chosen is to inform, activate, and bring about a change in understandings and behavior to build an active citizen position to address this problem. Through it, we hope that vulnerable individuals (discriminated and victims of gender-based violence in sports) will be empowered to speak out about the issue.

The aim is to introduce a standard of work (Rules for the prevention of gender-based violence in sports), based on international good practices, confirmed with the support of institutions (Ministry of Youth and Sports and NSA) and promoted among all those related to sports.

The long-term outcome of the project is strengthening mechanisms to counter gender-based violence in sport, which lead to a strengthened civil society.

The main activities that will be implemented in the implementation process are:

  • Rapid assessment of the situation through online research as a basis for developing the strategic communication campaign and advocacy for new policies.
  • Creation and distribution of a Handbook with Rules for the prevention and combating of gender-based violence in sports.
  • Training for sports journalists (50 from all over the country) and an information campaign aimed at athletes (5,000), sports clubs (100+) and the general public (500,000). Partners combine efforts to reach different audiences, incl. young people (over 80% of those who actively play sports are young people), women from vulnerable groups (lesbian, bisexual, transgender women – a target group for whose rights the “Bilitis” foundation works for).

    The special events are expected to directly engage over 500 people and a social media campaign is expected to reach over 50,000 unique users.

The focus of the project is on creating a friendly environment that will, in the long term, improve the self-regulation of sports organizations to prevent discrimination and hate speech based on gender stereotypes, and increase the tolerance of sportspeople, professional athletes and other stakeholders to gender-based violence in sports.