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Petition Tag - federation
In 2008, America is ready to elect a president that’s a woman or black. However, Ethiopians have struggled for five years to include girls teams in a male dominated Ethiopian Sport Federation in North America (ESFNA). Men’s teams have enjoyed playing soccer for 25 years.
ESFNA is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization founded in 1984 to promote amateur soccer and cultural events within the Ethiopian community in the North America. One of its goals includes providing positive role models for the youth.
The focus of the main event is the men’s soccer tournament. It should be renamed Ethiopian Men’s Soccer Federation in North America (EMSFNA). It contains no girls’ team and the only sport is soccer. The federation doesn’t promote sports to the community year-round. Perhaps, we should create a new organization known as the Ethiopian Women’s Soccer Federation in North America (EWSFNA)
ESFNA, is refusing to include girls and not appreciating the efforts Future Generation African Girls Association has been doing to include girls.
The documentary film production tells the Ewnete (means the truth in Ethiopia) story when our team of girls wanted to be included. The news paper article told our story more than once.
While visiting an Ethiopian festival in Washington, D.C.,
Anisa Adem's daughters watched the men and boys playing soccer. The year wasn't 1970 or any year before Title IX, which provided girls with equal opportunities in sports activities where the organization or education program received Federal funds.
It was 2001 when Adem's American-born daughter asked, "Mommy, why is it that we can't play soccer? Because I see all men – I don't see any women. Is it our culture, or is it Islam?"
Shortly after, Adem put together a girls' soccer team in hopes they would compete in the Annual Ethiopian Sports Federation of North America tournament in Houston. The federation had 27 teams, all men. Adem started two girls' teams and designed their uniforms so they represent the Ethiopian flag. They went to Houston for the tournament only to discover they weren't on the schedule.
The experience motivated Adem to create a non-profit organization to empower girls. She started the Roba Ethiopian American Girls Soccer Association, named after a famous female Ethiopian athlete, Fatima Roba. They prepared for the next tournament, which was in Seattle. The organization has since been renamed as the Future Generation African Girls Association.
The Ethiopian community and the Mayor of Plano supported the organization. Mayor Pat Evans helped the group with publicity and fundraising. The group raised enough funds to cover the expenses of 46 people making the trip to Seattle.
But the story changed upon their arrival. They discovered the girl’s team would have to play a team made up mostly of boys and their game wasn't at the prime time of 3:00 pm as the federation had originally scheduled. Instead, they were to play at 10:00 am, two hours before the other soccer matches started.
The Ethiopian Sport Federation in North America Association held its 25th annual soccer tournament in the Washington DC during the week of July 4th in 2008.
Girls soccer Tournament was scheduled for the first time in the history of the Ethiopian Sports Federation for 25th years.
Will the Girls teams will be part of ESFNA 27 men teams or just for the show. Do we continue the tradition of shunning a girl's team or make strides? Although the Ethiopian girls and women have enthusiastically supported the tournament, the focus of the main event is the men's soccer tournament. There are 27 men's teams and no women's teams. Furthermore, the organization's board members consist of all men.
American Association of University Women
Women's Sport Foundation
For more information, contact:
Future Generation African Girls Association
3941 Legacy #204
P.O. Box 214-B
Plano, TX 75023
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