March 8, 2020

Football: a Pink Jersey to Denounce Gender Stereotypes, a campaign of CARE International

According to a UN study released on Friday, March 6: 9 out of 10 people have a gender prejudices around the World. Football became an ally this weekend along with CARE to combat gender stereotypes.

This is exactly what happened on the afternoon of March 8th, when Croatian footbal player Franko Andrijašević played with stereotypes and ran out onto a football field before one of the most important matches of the season, wearing a pink colored jersey. What is behind it is the #PinkJersey activity, which is part of the initiative CARE International, and is not just a mistake in doing laundry. Its goal is to point out that the unequal distribution of household chores is no trivial issue.

On Sunday afternoon, March 8, the long-awaited football match between the Rijeka and Hajduk Split clubs took place in Croatia / Rijeka. While the other players of the Rijeka football club wore an official white jersey, Rijeka’s main player, Franko Andrijašević, surprised everyone by running out to the football field in a pink colored jersey. The question was what a football player does in a pink jersey on the field, and Franco who, in cooperation with CARE, supported the slogan “Achieving equality between men and women takes a lot of work, effort and time. Let’s go. ” In the video, Franco is at home and has just removed his laundry from the washing machine… his white jersey is colored pink… He searches for the washing machine and finds a red sock at the bottom. If Franco and his wife share the chores, he is clearly not quite ready for it yet!

“Football is known as a very macho industry. And in the Balkans, our societies are also affected by the legacy of years of war and lots of clichés: women must first take care of the house and men are expected to be macho, raise voice and make decisions in family and society as a whole. t. I hope that this action, which will be seen by millions of people in front of their TV, will start debates within families and encourage people to break free from the stereotypes that inhibit us,” explains Franko Andrijasevic. 

Household chores remain one of the sectors where inequalities persist most with consequences that must not be ignored : in addition to reinforcing an image of female inferiority domestic work is presented as being less important although it is vital for our families and  communities, it contributes the overall economic and social  development of a society.    

  • In 2018, 79% of European women said that they take care of the kitchen and / or household chores every day. Many work a double day: at work and at home.  
  • In the Balkans, only 11% of women say their partner does the laundry, according to a CARE study. 
  • In Croatia, the burden of daily households chores stills falls on women’s shoulders, like preparing good (60%), cleaning (71%), washing (80%), while men are left with sporadic chores such as fixing things (84%) and paying bills (41%). Most men are content with this distribution of tasks and suppose that their partners are satisfied too. 

And it is difficult to get rid of these stereotypes related to domestic work. And they are so ingrained in the collective unconscious that transgressing them can have serious consequences.  

  • In France, 43% of men think that they have fewer natural dispositions for housework than women. 
  • In Balkans, 51% of men think a woman’s most important role is to take care of her home and cooking for her family. And 53% think changing diapers, giving kids a bath and feeding the kids are the mother’s responsibility.  

Defending equality and fighting against stereotypes is therefore the objective of this CARE awareness-raising action, designed pro bono by the BBDO agency, and which will be promoted by many influencers in France and Croatia. It also lines with CARE’s comprehensive and programmatic efforts to fight interpersonal and gender-based violence as well as to improve gender equality in the Balkans. This action has been implemented in cooperation with Status M – our partner from Zagreb and their Be a Man club members.

For more than a decade within Young Men Initiative project, around 100,000 boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 19 have already participated in CARE’s gender transformative programming in 130 schools. Campaign activities in

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