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Tanzania President Calls Women Footballers ‘Flat-Chested’, Then Goes On To Talk About Women Leading. *Facepalm*

August 25, 2021 | by Jinal Bhatt

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Politicians really need to have their speeches proofread, and if they’re all about speaking extempore, then they should at least read the general sentiment before letting words just stumble out. Why do I say this? Well, explain to me how do you manage to call women footballers ‘flat-chested’ in the same speech where you ask for more funding for that very same female football team AND talk about bringing female leadership to the forefront? Mind = blown. But Samia Suluhu Hassan, the President of Tanzania, has managed to do exactly that. And of course, there’s backlash.

61-year-old President Hassan assumed office back in March, after the sudden death of John Magafuli and is the first female head of state of Tanzania. So you can imagine just how disappointing it is to hear a woman in her position to make such comments about the women of her country.

On Sunday, Hassan was speaking at a ceremony held at State House in Dar Es Salam to celebrate the victory of Tanzania men’s U-23 national football team in a regional championship. Speaking about how playing the sport for years might alter the physique of women footballers, President Hassan said, “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.” However, as she elaborated, these attractive attributes ‘have disappeared’ for these women footballers.

Hassan then went on to talk about the marriage prospects of these women footballers too, 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?” She further stated how a married life is like a dream for these female players because even if one of them were to get married and taken home by their husband, their mothers-in-law would ask if the bride is a woman or a fellow man.

Also Read: This Woman Politician In Tanzania Was Kicked Out Of The Parliament Because She Was Wearing Trousers. 

What’s funny, as I mentioned before, is that President Hassan took this moment to talk about how it is time to bring forward the point that women can be leaders too, and to seek increased funding for women’s sports. Itna sunn ke kaun dega, bataoo?

The comments received backlash on Twitter, expectedly.

Jinal Bhatt

Sharp-tongued feminist. Proud nerd. Opinions with on-point pop-culture references about films, books, your toxic BF, the patriarchy, and the Oxford comma.

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