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Sudan Now has its First Ever Women's Soccer League

The league comprises 21 clubs and plans are in the works to produce an official national team.

Yesterday, Sudan's much anticipated women's soccer league finally kicked off and saw two teams going against each other at the Khartoum Stadium. Sudan's new Minister of Sport Wala Essam and a number of foreign diplomats attended the match amid a vibrant crowd. The establishing of the league comes after the country has recently entered into a coalition government between the military and civilians. The coalition government, under the leadership of the newly elected Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, will govern Sudan during a three-year transitional period that will eventually cede power over to civilians.


In the wake of the new coalition government which includes two women, it is expected that more liberal policies will be implemented across the country during this time. Back in 1983, Sudan adopted the Islamic Sharia law a few years prior to Omar al-Bashir seizing power in a military coup and since then, women's soccer has faced an uphill battle.

Speaking about the historic moment, Essam said that, "This is a historical game not only for women's sport but for Sudan." He added that, "We will give special attention to women's sport and women's football."

Back in 2015, there were only two women's soccer teams in Sudan according to Aljazeera. One of those teams was and is still known as "The Challenge"—the unofficial national women's soccer team captained by Sara Edward. However, the team has historically struggled with having to contend with societal taboos and a lack of funding from both the Sudan Football Association and the international governing body FIFA.

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Image supplied by Candice Chirwa.

In Conversation with Candice Chirwa: 'Menstruation is More than Just Bleeding for Seven Days.'

South African activist Candice Chirwa, the 'Minister of Menstruation', speaks to us about what a period-positive world looks like, the challenges menstruators face even in 2020 and her important advocacy work with QRATE.

It's 2020, and naturally, tremendous advancements have been made across various spheres of society. From the prospect of self-driving cars and drones delivering medicines to rural areas to comparatively progressive politics and historic "firsts" for many disenfranchised groups, we've certainly come a long way. However, in the midst of all that progress, there is still one issue which continues to lag behind considerably and consistently, particularly in less developed countries: menstruation.

Candice Chirwa is a young Black woman on a mission to fiercely change the disempowering narratives and taboos that still shroud the issue of menstruation. The 24-year-old South African activist, who is endearingly known as the "Minister of Menstruation" on social media, wants young girls and women to not only accept but embrace their bodies fully in a society that insists on speaking in hushed tones about a perfectly normal biological process. Both Chirwa's research and advocacy work with the UN and her award-winning NGO, QRATE, has focused on dispelling common myths about menstruating, removing the shame and stigma around it and giving menstruators the knowledge and tools they need to navigate their world through impactful workshops.

And when Chirwa isn't collaborating with Lil-Lets, one of the biggest sanitary product brands on the continent, or co-authoring a bad-ass book titled Perils of Patriarchy, she's dominating the TEDx stage and making sure that her audience, no matter how diverse or varied, leaves the room feeling comfortable and courageous enough to boldly shout the word "vagina".

We caught up with Chirwa to discuss what initially compelled her to become a "period-positive" activist, her continued advocacy work with QRATE and what kind of world she imagines for menstruators.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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The Nigerian Army Has Denied Opening of Deadly Fire on #EndSARS Protesters

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