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Tanzania_Women_Cricket_Africa_sport_female
Historically, cricket in Tanzania has not been a sport played by the nation’s indigenous population. Those with backgrounds from countries with strong cricket programs, such as India and the United Kingdom, traditionally dominated the sport. That demographic has been changing, however, ever since 1999 when Zully Rehemtulla, chairman of the Tanzania Cricket Association, and former player Kazim Nasser became set on bringing cricket to all Tanzanians.

In the initial stages, Rehemtulla estimates that only about 150 people in Tanzania played cricket. He and Nasser decided that it was unacceptable for the sport to not permeate the majority of the country and started to focus their attention on bringing the sport to schools in Dar es Salaam, the capital.

Since then, and after about a century of non-indigenous participation in cricket, the sport has taken off, with Rehemtulla estimating that roughly 15,000 people now play in Tanzania. In August 2013, the International Cricket Council ranked the men’s Tanzanian team at 30th in the world.

Women in Tanzania have joined the game too. Though the Tanzanian women’s cricket team was eliminated from the last two World Cups early into qualification rounds, women’s participation has increased significantly.

Rehemtulla and Nasser state that they run into many barriers, due to Tanzania being one of the most impoverished nations in the world, when attempting to boost the participation of adolescent girls in cricket.

Moreover, they state that when girls become teenagers in Tanzania, their families put pressure on them to get jobs and contribute to family income. In order to offset this hurdle, the pair began offering services to girls who wanted to start playing cricket. They offered housing, HIV and malaria awareness classes, as well as, of course, cricket coaching to make them better players and in the future, effective coaches themselves.

The results of this program were very successful, with women not only continuing to play cricket, but also with many attending universities and maintaining lucrative jobs. Nasser and Rehemtulla report that many of the girls in the program are now financially comfortable and can make up to five times as much as low-wage workers in Tanzania.

Nasser explains that he and Rehemtulla have gotten to know the girls in the program and can serve as mentors and aid in their future development.

“We have spent five years with them so we try to do what is best for them. We train them so they get employment instead of going to work as house maids.” Furthermore, he states, “We as an association tried to give them classes and pay the school fees. We tried our best to help them to ensure they have better lives in the future.”

Cricket is also growing in other African nations. There has, for instance, been increased financial investment in cricket programs, including plans to build a new cricket stadium in Rwanda, largely to support the development of its new women’s team. Cricket has already become the second most popular sport in South Africa, whose men’s team, the Proteas, is globally competitive and whose amateur women’s team is gaining recognition.

Though the Tanzanian women’s team has not made it to the cricket World Cup, Tanzania has participated in a World Cup event. In 1975, Tanzanian athletes competed as a part of an East Africa team that included Uganda, Zambia and Kenya.

Tanzania is still far from achieving its goal of having premier, globally-recognized cricket teams, but with programs supporting female athletes and an increased investment in cricket and cricketers, one day Tanzania could prove its athletic prowess.

Kaylie Cordingley

Sources: BBC Sport, AllAfrica
Photo: BBC News

Womens_Rights
It has been nine years since Hillary Clinton proudly declared “women’s rights are human rights” at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women.  Since then, world leaders have recognized that the key to economic, social and cultural development is rooted in the empowerment of women.

1. “More countries have understood that women’s equality is a prerequisite for development.”

— Kofi Annan, 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2001 Nobel Peace Prize winner

2. “Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed has his or her own inalienable and un-purchasable voice in government.”

— Carrie Chapman Catt, American women’s suffrage leader

3. “It is not gender which is destroying our culture…. it is our interpretations of culture which has destroyed gender equality.”

– A Cambodian civil society group

4. “This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labor in which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.”

— Gloria Steinem, American journalist

5. “Gender inequality, which remains pervasive worldwide, tends to lower the productivity of labor and the efficiency of labor allocation in households and the economy, intensifying the unequal distribution of resources. It also contributes to the non-monetary aspects of poverty – lack of security, opportunity and empowerment – that lower the quality of life for both men and women. While women and girls bear the largest and most direct costs of these inequalities, the costs cut broadly across society, ultimately hindering development and poverty reduction.”

– The Gender and Development Group -World Bank, from the report “Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals” (2003)

6. “The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.”

— Aung San Suu Kyi, Daw Burmese-Myanmarese dissident and politician; Leader of National League for Democracy, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

7. “No nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men. No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”

― Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan

8. “Women will not simply be mainstreamed into the polluted stream. Women are changing the stream, making it clean and green and safe for all — every gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, age, and ability.”

— Bella Abzug, American politician, 1998 Defender of Democracy Award

9. “The connection between women’s human rights, gender equality, socioeconomic development and peace is increasingly apparent.”
— Mahnaz Afkhami, Iranian-American human rights activist

10. “Women’s chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy.”

–Estelle R. Ramey, American endocrinologist and psychologist

Stephanie Lamm

Sources: Women’s Rights World, Better World Quotes, Goodreads
Photo: Politic365

Powering Communities Is Empowering Women
More than 2.3 billion people around the world live without stable electricity or without electricity completely. To combat this, residents of impoverished communities use kerosene lamps. These lamps are not only harsh on the environment but also contribute to a huge amount of fires and burns among users. In Nepal, women are responsible for finding the kerosene and using these oftentimes dangerous lamps.

To tackle the problem of the pollution these lamps cause, the damage afflicted to the female users as well as the problem of helping disenfranchised women, Empower Generation, has created the WakaWaka light – a solar-powered LED light. This light not only eliminates the use of kerosene lamps, but WakaWaka lights are also sold exclusively by women. Nepali women are given microloans by Empower Generation to establish a small business and sell the WakaWaka lights. In a year, most women have made enough money to pay off the loan and are equipped with a business of their own.

Empower Generation is a nonprofit started by Bennett Cohen and his wife Anya Cherneff. Each entrepreneur had a different vision in which the two were eventually able to mold into one solution. Shortly after creating this union of ideas they created a civil union and were married. Now, they provide clean energy to impoverished communities and work together to improve living conditions in developing countries while simultaneously empowering women.

– Pete Grapentien

Source: Earth Techling

Beyoncé is Helping Girls Run the WorldWho runs the world? According to a very popular song of Beyoncé’s, girls do.

And now to show just how much she believes that Beyoncé has partnered with the clothing brand Gucci, as well as famous superstars such as Salma Hayek, Adrianna Huffington, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and Jada Pinket-Smith to start a campaign called Chime for Change. The Chime for Change Campaign is, as written by Vogue.com’s Sarah Karmali, an initiative that aims to raise funds for and awareness about supporting the projects of girls and women worldwide “through sharing ‘powerful stories’ about inspiring females.”

By sharing different women’s stories, the Chime for Change Campaign wants to strengthen and unite all the voices speaking out for women and girls across the globe with hopes of, as stated on TED (a nonprofit that brings together thinkers, philanthropists, and doers), “raising an alarm and drawing attention where there is work to be done – with a focus on Education, Health and Justice.”

The campaign – thought up by Salma Hayek and Gucci Creative Director, Frida Giannini – will feature a series of ten films that highlight the power of technology and tell inspiring stories of women across the world. Each film will be narrated by Hayek and will feature new music by Beyoncé. The first film has already been released and in it, Salma Hayek praises the advent of technology for helping connect women and girls in ways that were previously unimaginable. The video goes on to show how change that creates equality for women, gives girls everywhere the opportunity to go to school and provides women access to the care they need is occurring and necessary for improving not only communities but the whole world.

The optimistic message of the video, as well as celebrity appearances (both Salma Hayek and Beyoncé appear in the first video), is encouraging, not only to the future success of the campaign but also to the importance of what technology can do. It shows how technology can connect people everywhere and bring attention to empowering stories across the globe.

Click here to watch the first video.

– Angela Hooks

Sources: Huffington Post, TED
Photo: Chime for Change