#017: A Team of One's Own
A Team of One's Own
In this piece for the International Women’s Media Foundation, reporter Shannon Sims takes us into the world of young Muslim female football players in Zanzibar. In a community where women are discouraged from playing football (soccer) due to conservative beliefs, these women formed their own club leagues and six women’s teams compete against each other and are a source of camaraderie and fortitude for one another. The article dives into the myriad issues that the female league faces: accusations of lesbianism (incredibly dangerous in highly conservative Zanzibar), societal disapproval and financial challenges, but doesn’t lose sight of the deep bond between the players and the passion for the sport which drives them all. While I thoroughly love everything about this story, my favourite part is the incredible team names – because who wouldn’t want to root for the Jumbi Women Fighters or the Green Queens?
Read for: “While last year the men’s national team received fanfare from the president, big checks and even a plot of land for placing second in the regional tournament, this year the women’s tournament was postponed four days before kickoff because of financial difficulties”
No Saving Grace
In the Aug 18 2017 issue, Empower46 shared the very odd and disturbing story where Grace Mugabe, wife of disgraced ex-Zimbabwean dictator physically assaulted a young woman in a hotel in South Africa. After the attack, Grace was not prosecuted due to diplomatic immunity and as understood, in order to maintain a good relationship between Zimbabwe and South Africa. Since then however, Mugabe has been ousted from power and was not on the ballot for the Zimbabwean elections (for the first time in the country’s history). Last week, a South African high court overturned the government’s decision to grant Grace diplomatic immunity – however it is ultimately to the National Prosecuting Authority to pursue any further action against Grace with the potential for extradition for trial.
Read for: “But the court on Monday said the decision to grant Mugabe immunity was inconsistent with the country's constitution, a ruling that has been applauded by Afrikaner rights group AfriForum and the opposition party Democratic Alliance who brought the case to the court last year”
A New Science of Ebola
It appears that for the first time, a female Ebola survivor in Liberia infected others, after harbouring the virus for over a year. According to the New York Times, scientists are unclear as to how the virus "hid inside the woman for 13 months before re-emerging in lethal form." Prior to this discovery, only male survivors had been revealed to infect others - specifically through sex as the virus can survive in semen for two years.
Read for: “However, because she fell ill soon after giving birth, experts believe the immune suppression that normally occurs in pregnancy may have triggered a relapse.”
Patricia De Lille Resigns
Mayor of Capetown South Africa, Patricia De Lille, has heeded party calls to resign after allegations of nepotism and city mismanagement were levelled against her. These allegations led to a nasty and public battle between Ms De Lille and her own party, Democratic Alliance (DA). Ms De Lille was set to face public disciplinary hearings, but a new agreement between her and the DA now mean that Ms De Lille will step down from her Mayoral post on Oct 31 and will no longer be subject to any further disciplinary proceedings from the DA.
Read for: “As a party that prides itself on clean government, we were obliged to consider all allegations levelled against Ms De Lille. It is never easy to take action against one of your own. But I am confident that throughout this painful period, we have acted in the best interests of the citizens we serve.”
A Very Important Stock
While global stock markets might be relatively healthy for the time being, a very different type of stock is falling in Senegal. Fish stocks in Senegal, particularly Saint-Louis, have been falling and causing major problems for the livelihood of women and for the nutrition of the population. Lucia Benavides, via Malnutrition Deeply, reports on the negative domino effects on the dwindling sizes of the fish catches in Saint Louis. While the exact reasons for this likely range from rising sea levels to increased competition, its effects mean that female fish sellers and fish processors lose money, are unable to support their families and are starting to turn to NGOs for help in upskilling in other skills such as sewing and gardening. The report in all is a peek into the downstream effects of widespread climate change on African societies (covered in Empower46 issue – June 2 2017).
Read for: "…Only one woman is seen rummaging through the pots, looking for processed fish to buy and take back to her hometown. She says she travelled 95 miles this morning and will return in the evening, probably empty-handed”