KATHMANDU – Sports and gender equality champions from Association of the Nepalese Alumni from Australia (ANAA) and Nepali journalists donned orange jerseys to play a mixed-gender friendly football match in the capital on Saturday.
Dressed in orange, a colour symbolising a brighter future, free of violence, the audience demonstrated solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.
The game, organised to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women from 25 November to 10 December, ended with a common goal of raising voices to end gender-based violence. This year’s theme is Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!
Addressing the opening of the friendly match, Australia’s Ambassador to Nepal, Felicity Volk said women and girls in general are particularly vulnerable to gender-based violence.
This vulnerability is compounded when women identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, when they live with disabilities, are indigenous or from ethnic minorities, where they are migrants or refugees and when they are living through natural and other humanitarian crises.
Ambassador Volk called on the journalists, participants and audience to intensify their efforts to promote women in sports and shift gender stereotypes, as well as harness sport as a tool to fight against gender-based discrimination.
Bandana Rana, member of the Committee of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) said football can influence a large audience, especially youth, men and boys and this mixed-gender friendly match can score a common goal for ending all discrimination against women and girls and building a society where no rights are violated, and no one is left behind.
The game played at the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) complex at Satdobato was organised by Saathi, a Nepali non-government organisation in partnership with ANAA, Nepal Sports Journalists Forum, ANFA and the Australian Embassy, Nepal.