Tanzania female footballers react after President’s remarks about ‘flat-chested’ players

“To those athletes who are flat-chested, one can easily think that they are men,” Hassan had actually stated at a state occasion last Sunday to commemorate Tanzania’s Under-23 guys’s group in the seaside city of Dar-es-Salaam.

“”It is regrettable that there is no hope of marital relationship life for a few of these professional athletes, marital relationship resembles a dream for them. If among you was to choose among the professional athletes and take her house as an other half to fulfill your moms and dads, I make sure your mom would be amazed and puzzled regarding whether it’s a lady or a guy,” the president said.

Elsewhere in her speech, she emphasized the need to increase funding for the country’s athletes, especially sportswomen and looking after them in retirement.

A video of Hassan’s speech, which was delivered in Swahili, sparked outrage after it was widely shared on social media.

Hassan, 61, is the country’s first female president who was sworn in after the death of predecessor John Magufuli in March this year.

Her reign was touted to usher in a more liberal stance from her predecessor’s often repressive regime.

“The remark by president @SuluhuSamia on females footballers is an embarrassment to all females,” said forner MP Catherine Ruge, head of the women’s arm of the opposition Chadema party.

Remarks ‘misinterpreted’

The Presidency has not commented on the uproar following Hassan’s remarks, however, senior players of Tanzania’s national women’s team ‘Twiga Stars,’ said at a press conference Thursday that she had been misinterpreted.

“There is a declaration that the president had actually discussed and individuals translated it in various methods,” one player said.

“The president’s declaration offered us, the gamers, a great deal of strength and support, that made us to work extremely hard in sports. We have actually not seen anything with that declaration.”

Another player stated women footballers in the country are not bothered by their physical looks.

“We are stunning, we are terrific like other females and we likewise prepare to be moms at some point. The concern about look on our side is not something that truly matters to us… The video game we play requires a great deal of strength. We will not stop doing working out to construct our muscles and strengths in order to reach our objectives,” the gamer, who was not called, stated.

‘Regrettable remark’

Maria Sarungi Tsehai, an activist and creator of the #ChangeTanzania motion, explained President Hassan’s remarks as “body-shaming,” and “totally undesirable and unforeseen from a lady leader.”

“This type of soundbite from the president of the nation, particularly one who’s a lady is quickly attacked upon by sexist and misogynistic individuals,” Tsehai informed CNN.

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“It’s an extremely regrettable remark, thinking about the truth that she (Hassan) has actually been commemorated in Africa as the very first female president of Tanzania — getting rid of stereotypes and the understandings individuals have that a lady cannot be the leader of a nation.”

“For her to turn that around and utilize stereotyping versus these females who are likewise breaking stereotypes…particularly in a male-dominated sport like football, is extremely regrettable,” she included.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.