AFC, All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) and Saathi, a non-governmental organisation working for violence against women in Nepal, have joined hands to highlight women’s empowerment through football during the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 to be played in Kathmandu from March 8 to 19.
The opening of the eight-nation competition coincides with the International Women’s Day and the tournament will be used as a platform to promote the campaign – ‘Our goal: Stop Violence Against Women’.
The campaign will see banners being unfurled and the participating teams pledging their support to stop domestic violence. For the first time, children from Saathi’s sheltered homes will also have an opportunity to escort the players before the start of every match.
A friendly football event will be organised between street children in Kathmandu residing in Saathi’s shelters and the children of Voice of Children on March 9 at the ANFA Complex.
The event will be inaugurated by FIFA President Sepp Blatter in the presence of AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong, ANFA President Ganesh Thapa, Nepal’s Minister for Youth and Sports, Ms Kamala Roka and Saathi President Bandana Rana.
In addition, a drama to highlight gender-based violence and football as a social tool for change — enacted by the boys from the ANFA Academy and the girls from Saathi shelter — will be staged at the Rastriya Nach Ghar on March 11.
The organisations believe the spirit of Fair Play should be practised not only in the field, but also at home and in the society in order to ensure a violence-free society, where women are treated with equal respect and dignity.
This is a crucial time to celebrate the struggle for women’s rights in the economic, social, political and cultural domain and to highlight women’s achievements throughout the world.
(AFC Press Release)