Tanzanian female President Slammed for calling female footballers ‘Flat-chested’
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has been chastised for remarking that female footballers have “flat chests” and that they would not be appealing marriage candidates.
Hassan made the remarks at a ceremony on Sunday to commemorate the national men team’s triumph in a regional football competition, when she also ironically asked for more financing for women’s sports.
“For those who have flat chests, you might think they are men and not women,” she said at Sunday’s event.
“And you might wonder… if you look at their faces… because if you want to marry, you want someone who is attractive, a lady who has the qualities that you want.”
She added that for the women footballers “those qualities have disappeared”.
Hassan, who took office in March when her predecessor John Magafuli died suddenly, is Africa’s first female head of state, beside Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde, who serves primarily in a ceremonial capacity.
“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 said.
“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.”
Hassan’s remarks were extensively mocked on the internet.
“The comment by president @SuluhuSamia on women footballers is a humiliation to all women,” said Catherine Ruge, the head of the women’s wing of the opposition Chadema party and former MP.
“All women deserve respect.”
Maria Sarungi, the founder of the civil society organisation Change Tanzania, agreed.
“So all those cheering a female presidency…
@SuluhuSamia is denigrating female football players for having ‘flat chests’ and thus lacking attractive features necessary to get married. You must be proud @AWLNetwork,” she tweeted, referring to the African Women Leaders Network