FEMALE SOCCER IN SCHOOLS


New Government Policy in Sports Education in Zanzibar provides a unique opportunity for young Muslim girls to participate in Soccer training in Schools. At the beginning of 2012, the Minister of Education, Mr. Ali Juma Shamhuma, introduced a policy allowing girls to play soccer in schools. Mr. Shamhuma has followed with keen interest the activities of Women fighters’ team since the screening of the documentary film, Zanzibar Soccer Queens, at the 2007 Zanzibar International Film Festival. The screening of the film brought the once marginalized women to prominence in Zanzibar and beyond.

In 2009, Women Fighters’ players were invited to visit Germany, thanks to the exposure through the film. At this time, Mr. Ali Juma Shamhuma was the Minister of Information, Tourism, Sports and Culture. He officially and personally sent the players off to Germany. Also, on their return to Zanzibar, he personally received the players by offering them a special congratulatory lunch reception. He did not only know the story of the team, but he also acknowledged the value of what these female soccer players had contributed to the image of Tanzania in general and Zanzibar in particular; especially as female sports ambassadors from a predominantly Muslim country.

This narrative of the film and Women Fighters' contribution to changing societal attitudes and influencing government policy started when the film was released and screened at the 2007 Zanzibar International Film festival (ZIFF) - The Guest of Honour at the 2007 screening of the film was the Vice Minister of Information, Tourism, Sports and Culture. Other Officials present during the screening included the Vice President of Zanzibar Football Association (ZFA) and also the Secretary General of Zanzibar Football Association.

The film and the women's visit to Germany was the beginning of a change in attitudes towards women's soccer.


KIBWENI PRIMARY SCHOOL

Times are changing in the playing fields of soccer in Zanzibar as young Muslim girls now have equal opportunities, and access to soccer training as part of physical education in schools..



MWANAKWEREKE SECONDARY SCHOOL

The status of women's soccer is changing from playing in the streets to becoming part of Sports Education in government schools.


REGEZA MWENDO SCHOOL

This important change for female soccer means that the future is bright; young girls embrace their chance to kick the ball, run around, and scream! They are excited and loving the right to play soccer. Their dreams of playing soccer are now turning to reality.