Thursday, September 16, 2021

Tanzania’s President Utters Distasteful Comments About Female Footballers

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Esther Jacqueline
Esther Jacqueline Alabi is a writer, blogger and advocate. Her writing is majorly influenced by her passion for feminism and gender equality.
For leisure, Jacqueline writes on her blog and watches romcoms.

Recently, the president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan has been criticized for making a lot of disrespectful comments about female footballers, saying they have “flat-chests” and suggested that they are not attractive candidates for marriage. 

She made the comments during an event, celebrating the victory of the national men’s team in a regional football championship. 

“For those who have flat chests, you might think they are men and not women,” she said at Sunday’s event. And if you look at their faces you might wonder … because if you want to marry, you want someone who is attractive, a lady who has the qualities that you want.” 

Hassan, took over the office of the president after her predecessor died, she officially became the president in March and is currently the only serving female head of state in Africa alongside President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia. 

She continued by saying “Today they are making us proud as a nation when they bring trophies to the country but if you look at their lives in the future when the legs are tired from playing, when they don’t have the health to play, what life will they be living? The life of marriage is like a dream to them. Because even if one of you here takes them home as your wife, your mother will ask if they are a woman or a fellow man.”

The president’s controversial comments were responded to by a huge outcry on social media, with a lot of people noting that the President was disrespectful to female athletes who took out time to work on their craft and even represented the country. 

The head of the women’s wing of the opposition party, Chadema, Catherine Ruge made a comment saying “All women deserve respect. “The comment by president @SuluhuSamia on women footballers is a humiliation to all women.”

It is extremely worrisome and deeply distasteful that an important women leader and the head of a country, who is a woman herself, can make such disrespectful comments about female athletes and should tender an honest apology for disrespecting them.

Read Also: Laws Discriminating Against Women in Iran

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