WOMEN AND THE FREE WORLD ORGANIZATION
Emitos Girls Humanist Football Club - latest news
What is WOFEWO?
WOFEWO is a humanist secular non-governmental organization affiliated to the Uganda Humanist Association (UHASSO). It defends the rights of women and children and works for empowerment to fight abuse of women and children. It advances humanist values of reason, creativity, self discipline, self-respect, good health, courage and controlling ones destiny.
Where is WOFEWO?
WOFEWO is to be found in Wakiso district of Uganda a district which has been enslaved by the old norms, where females are meant to be gentle, weak and less clever, while males, strong, clever and decision makers in the homes or relationships, such negative gender attitudes create unequal relationship between boys and girls rob them of their self – esteem and confidence. For example in class, girls find it hard to give answers or ask questions because they fear to be laughed at. Such attitudes also make girls unable to negotiate for safer sex. This makes girls powerless and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. This on so many occasions has led to violence and sexual abuse when a girl refuses to accept a boy’s decision.
In most communities of Wakiso district, there are differences and inequities between females and Males in responsibilities given, activities done, access to and control over resources plus decision making opportunities. Because of those differences and inequalities, women and girls have fewer rights, lower education and poor health standards.
To provide opportunities for women to fulfill their potential.
To enable women access to opportunities and to make informed choices and to live in a free world of thought and rationalism.
WOFEWO has set up a football club for secondary school girls aged 12 –20 years.
The name of the club is Emitos Girls Humanist Football Club, ” Emitos” means "young".
- To build confidence and self esteem among young girls, to help them build their careers as future leaders. Girls need to develop some appreciation for who they are. Such confidence will enable them to express their unique talents and be able to compete with boys for the same opportunities. “If I can play football, what else can I not achieve?" For example the ability of competing in the same subjects (science subjects) which are traditionally known to be done better by boys.
- To deepen their understanding of the humanistic values and principles and be able to transform their lives as young women and the societies in which they come from. Such humanistic values include, controlling one’s density, intelligence and reason, self discipline, satisfaction and courage.
- To train girls in management and leadership skills. Girls learn to manage the activities in life through the experience gained from the way football activities like tournaments and leagues are managed.
- To train girls on HIV/AIDS and reproductive health. This is because at this age they are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and they need health education to avoid unsafe sex and early pregnancies.
- To help girls stay longer in schools. Girls football is such an interesting and exciting adventure in Uganda, which one would not like to miss. Hence, while at school, football makes every moment of their lives precious and exciting.
- To help girls learn to socialize with other adolescents from other schools. This will enable them to learn to deal with challenges in their adolescent life. They need to share everyday life with friends and to belong to significant communities of interaction, inquiry, work and play.
The club which has not been in existence for very long is steadily progressing. The club was started in July 2008 and it has made progress in the following ways:
The club made links with “Moving Goal posts (MTG)” in Kilifi Kenya. MTG is involved in mobilizing girls through football and trains them about HIV /AIDS reproductive health and leadership. This has enabled the two organizations to move forward by sharing experiences.
The club has participated in two important tournaments which has made it possible to play with experienced teams, and improve upon its skills.
- Independence Day women football tournament 9th –11 /October 2008 it was a three-day tournament which took place in Kampala the capital city of Uganda.
- International women’s Day football Tournament 7th –8th /March /2009. It was a two –day tournament which also took place in Kampala.
- The club has opened up to the world of football by developing links with the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA).
The aim of these tournaments is to enhance women /girls football by motivating participants through awarding them certificates, prizes and trophies for winning teams.
OBJECTIVES OF WOFEWO
- To promote women's rights such as reproductive rights like owning one’s body, access to controlling fertility, choosing whether or not to marry, choosing one’s marital partner, choosing with whom to have children, joint responsibilities for children born, protection from sexual abuse, right to education, right to participate in politics and to own property, right to participate in decision making in families and in matters concerning development of the country.
- To promote education for girls to enable them to compete favorably with men.
- To promote children's rights like right to food, education, medical care and protection from any kind of social abuse like child labour, kidnapping assault, sacrifice etc.
- To promote self reliance among rural women.
There was a girl who was always fond of boys. As we use the same playground with boys, she wanted to stay behind even after the girls had finished their training. Even after being sent on her way, she would still sneak back. She started reporting home late, staying away without permission, not doing her revision and she was always hard to be made to do household chores. Her parents warned her but she would not reform.
The parents become bitter about her unbecoming behaviour, to the extent of refusing her to go for training. The girl loved football so much that she made her escape one day and went for training . For us we were ignorant about what was happening between the parents and their daughter.
When she went back, the parents became furious. They banned her from going out and told her never to talk to anybody who is not a member of the family. They said she was spoilt and would miss out on her education.
She was in a fix and did not know what to do next. Fortunately, she had a chance to speak to one of her friends when the parents had gone out to attend a burial of one of their best friends who had died in a fatal accident. She asked this friend of hers that he should tell us about her problem, so that we could rescue her.
After being informed, I went to the girl’s home. At first, the father wasn't willing to entertain me, claiming that we were partly responsible for the behaviour of their daughter, because whenever she was reminded about doing revision and doing her housework, she would say she was going for training.
However the mother was much more willing to talk to me. We talked at length and I was able to convince her about how we could help the girl. I promised to come back and talk to the father after some time.
When I came back, the father had changed his attitude. Perhaps, the wife had managed to win him over. I pleaded for the girl to be given another chance to reform and I assured the parents that we will do everything possible to counsel her.
We did everything possible to help this young girl, who had turned out to be a “problem child” in the home. She is now reformed, always at home in time, asks for permission whenever she wants to go out of the home, does her revision, does her house work and was elected by her peers as a welfare minister in the Emito Girls Humanist Football Club.
Though Emitos is steadily developing, it is faced with challenges.
- Emitos lacks sufficient playing equipment to widen the scope of its activities. The available equipment is not enough because of the increasing number of girls who want to participate.
- Football can involve expenses which we have great difficulty in meeting. For example when we want to take the girls to participate in away matches. On such occasions there is the cost of transport, food and accommodation. Sometimes these tournaments can take place over several days.
- The club also faces opposition from some parents who have mistaken ideas about girls’ football; that they will lose their virginity and develop tough muscles. This they say will limit their chances of getting married because they are no longer tender. Such parents need to be gradually sensitized about the objectivities.
- The girls themselves are so arrogant such that on several occasions they do not want to listen. They want to be taken as adults. So we need to carry out continuous counselling. They also need awareness on their reproductive health and HIV/AIDS to enable them go through their adolescent life with fewer problems.
- WE NEED THE FOLLOWING:
|ITEM||QTY||UNIIT COST||TOTAL UG SHS||TOTAL IN POUND|
|Tracks suits||2 sets||750,000/=||1,500,000/=|
|Workshops on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS||3||1,200,000/=||3,600,000/=|
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