The United Nations in South Africa all-female soccer team won 1-0 in a friendly match against the Vakhegula Vakhegula soccer team on Friday, 12 August 2016 at the CSIR soccer pitch in Pretoria. The match, in celebration of Women’s Month in South Africa, was aimed at bringing together women from various backgrounds who play a pivotal role in advancing the cause of disadvantaged and impoverished communities in their respective areas across the country.
UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka emphasized the advancement of gender equality as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) launched in 2015. Speaking at the event, Mlambo-Ngcuka said “this soccer match reiterates this concept of Leave No One Behind as women across all ages, race groups and cultures are here for a common cause and that is to advance the development of all women.”
Founder of the Vakeghula Vakhegula team based in Limpopo, Rebecca Ntsinwisi said that “there is a need for further advancement of women in sport especially in countries across the African continent.” While the team has a soccer team in America, they say more representation is needed in other countries so there can be greater awareness of gender issues. The team was formed in 2006 to promote healthy living amongst the elderly especially women. Team members also include cancer survivors.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Gana Fofang advocated the UN’s support by adding that “this event is an opportunity to highlight the achievement of women and the role of women who play a key role in tackling the challenge of gender-based violence.”Accepting the victory, the UN team, comprised of representatives from all agencies, proved their stamina on the field. Desire Mohlala, one of the players from the UN Information Centre said “this isn’t about victory or defeat but celebrating women who do great work to advocate change for the betterment of humanity.”
UN South Africa would like to extend its gratitude to Elizabeth Maditse, Director of Women and Children Health in Limpopo, the Vakhegula Vakhegula team and Aquavita for their support in adding to the success of this inter-agency event.
Distributed by APO on behalf of UN Information Centre in Pretoria (UNIC).
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