Tanzanian President under scrutiny over sexist remarks

by | Aug 27, 2021 | International | 0 comments


Hosia Mviringi

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has courted the ire of Tanzanian gender activists over distasteful sexist remarks against female athletes in her country.

Hassan, made a tongue in cheek comment at a function at her residency hosting the country`s male national football team.

During the event, she was presented with a request to sponsor a women`s soccer tournament to which she responded with a dose of her opinion.

President Hassan could not hide her disdain for women and girls who choose to partake in physical sporting disciplines, saying that most of them will struggle to get married.

The humiliating remarks came as the country’s women’s football team, the Twiga Stars are preparing for participation at a Southern African Women’s Soccer Tournament next month.

Hassan’s remarks ironically echoed the same misogynistic sentiments which she complained about when she assumed office in March this year.

She described female footballers as having “flat chests and not attractive enough for marriage”.


President Hassan said that while female athletes in her country were doing great and making the country proud by winning trophies, some, if not most of them, did not stand a chance at marriage.

“For those who are flat-chested, you might think they are men not women, and when you look at them you might ask yourself about their gender because to get married, you look for a woman that you are attracted to, right. There are certain attractive qualities people want,” said Hassan.

President Hassan has been described by gender activists in her country as being insensitive to the plight and fight for equal treatment and opportunity by the girl child.

Analysts described her remarks as backward and bent on perpetrating a skewed social environment that defines women as sex objects whose only role in society is to be admired by men and to please a man in marriage.

Gender Consultant and Policy Activist, Mary Ndaro from Dar es Salam described with dismay how she had to listen to the video again and again with disbelief.

“Most people were shocked, and for me, I had to listen to the video three times, because my first reaction was, ‘this is not true, this can not be happening and this is not happening. We did not expect something like that being said by the President”.

The female Tanzanian President’s televised sexist remarks have shocked the world with critics railing against her for being highly insensitive and likely to discourage girls and women from taking up sport as a profession and to freely express themselves for fear of being body shamed.


These remarks, which have been received with disgust by gender activists, seem to encourage women and girls to abandon every other endeavour of life and focus only on marriage and being a good attractive wife.

“For these sportswomen, when it comes to married life, I know there are others married to fellow athletes, but most of them are not married, and we know that for most of them, getting married remains a dream.

Because if one of you took one of these ladies to introduce to your family as your fiancée, your mother will look at you in disbelief and ask, is this a woman or a man,” said Hassan.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 5 (SDG: 5) which aims to achieve universal gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls, also strives to, among other targets, and all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere.