Against all odds: South Sudan’s daring drive on women’s football | Football

South Sudan gained independence in 2011 and its history is so short that it is a regular low-scoring answer on the popular quiz show Pointless. Much less trivially, for a majority of its existence the country has been in civil war, with peace and a new national unity government in place only from February of this year.

For a country clawing its way back from the devastating effects of a conflict that has seen hundreds of thousands killed and 1.5 million internally displaced, where nearly half of girls are married by 18, child marriages are increasing and sexual violence was used tactically during the war , it would be easy to assume that football, let alone women’s football, would be nonexistent.

Yet on Friday, just over a year after its women’s national team competed for the first time, the South Sudan Football Association launched a four-year strategy for women’s and girls’ football, Stars Unite, that aims to increase the number of participants by at least 70%.

South Sudan captain Amy Lasu



South Sudan’s captain, Amy Lasu. ‘Football has been considered a men’s sport,’ she says. Photograph: South Sudan FA

South Sudan, where women were at the heart of the peace drive and a 35% quota has been set for women’s participation in government, is not an outlier: the idea that women should not play football is as prevalent there as it is in many other parts of the world. The captain of the women’s national team, Amy Lasu, who began playing in Kenya before returning to play in her home country, says: “It is challenging because for the longest time football has been considered a men’s sport. It was considered a taboo for girls to play.”

Her mother played basketball and her father football, and they would buy her shirts and boots and take her to academies, but for Maryln James, a grassroots player, the story is a little different.

“If you tell your parents that you are going to play football you get asked why you’re going to play with men,” she says. “I just had one person supporting me, my mother. When I started my father would beat me when I came back from training. But my mother said this was not only for men, she can play.”

Far from bowing to the pressures and expectations on girls, the federation is challenging them. “We want to show to the world that South Sudan is growing in women football, and we also want change the mindset of some people who still don’t believe that women can play football,” says Helen Terso Aninyesi, the project manager for Stars Unite and women’s development officer.

South Sudan’s national team, who played their first game last year.



South Sudan’s national team, who played their first game last year. Photograph: South Sudan FA

The plans are bold. The FA has committed to training more female coaches, administrators, referees and scouts; girls’ football will be promoted in schools; there will be community outreach programmes; it will launch a new national league with player licensing; and it promises increased participation for

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In the pandemic, ‘women’s work’ is critical care

To the list of groups disproportionately harmed by the coronavirus pandemic — health care workers, nursing home residents, the poor, people of color — we must now add another: women.



a hand holding a small piece of food: Sara Adelman holds her daughter Amelia's hand at their home in Salt Lake City in May. Adelman was burning through her vacation time to help manage her current status as a working-from-home mom since her daughter's day care closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.


© Rick Bowmer
Sara Adelman holds her daughter Amelia’s hand at their home in Salt Lake City in May. Adelman was burning through her vacation time to help manage her current status as a working-from-home mom since her daughter’s day care closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Although COVID-19 is not necessarily more contagious or deadly for women than for men, it is women who have borne the greater economic burden. They tend to be employed in the sectors hollowed out by the pandemic: education, hospitality, retail. And they are chiefly responsible for caregiving, whether of children now home from school or elderly relatives needing support in the pandemic. In September, more than 860,000 women dropped out of the US labor force, four times the number of men. Is it any surprise the retreat coincided with the start of a new school year?


COVID-19 is forcing women out of the workforce. Transparency and openness is the only way forward

One in four women is considering leaving the workforce due to the pandemic, and for the 40 percent who are the sole or primary breadwinner in their families (70 percent for Black women), it is not a casual choice. Taking a break from the labor market aggravates the wage gap even for career professional women; many lower-income workers lose their jobs altogether, launching a downward spiral of debt, hunger, and eviction.

Affordable, accessible, high-quality child care could spell the difference for millions of women between economic stability and this cascade of woes. Unfortunately, it’s harder to find than bipartisan comity in Washington. “We have a systemic problem of devaluing the role of women in the economy,” said Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts in an interview, “and the plight of the child-care industry is a symptom of that problem.”

Day care, already in short supply, becomes scarcer during the pandemic

The US Department of Health and Human Services defines “affordable” child care as costing no more than 7 percent of a family’s income. In Massachusetts, according to the Economic Policy Institute, day care for a 4-year-old costs on average $15,095 a year, which is 16 percent of median income even in this high-wage state. And it’s certainly not the (overwhelmingly female) workers who are getting rich on this expensive service; the median wage for a child-care worker in Massachusetts is $27,680. Despite the many political paeans to the sanctity of the family, society still sees child care as a private responsibility, not a public good.

It was not always thus. During World War II, when Rosie and her sister riveters were recruited into the labor force, the US government developed heavily-subsidized “emergency nurseries” targeted to communities engaged in defense production. But President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and many working mothers, remained ambivalent about outsourcing the care of children, and when the war

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Sophie Shirley reaches milestone faster than almost everyone in Badgers women’s hockey history | Wisconsin Badgers Hockey



Sophie Shirley photo

Sophie Shirley scored twice in the Badgers’ 5-0 victory at Ohio State last Saturday, giving her 51 goals in 79 collegiate games.




Sophie Shirley, upon looking back on her first two seasons with the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team, was quick to credit two teammates for helping her mature into a big-time player.



sophie shirley mug 12-4

S. Shirley


They’re two of the better players the Badgers have had in the last handful of seasons. Emily Clark was Shirley’s guide from their shared hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Abby Roque was a linemate and inspiration on how to get things done.

“From my freshman year, I’ve had a lot of great role models,” Shirley said.

Last week, it was Shirley’s name that went alongside some legends of the Badgers program.

She became the 18th player to score at least 50 goals with the Badgers and did so in the fourth-fewest number of games. Only rookie goals record-holder Meghan Hunter (50 games) and the top two scorers in program history, Hilary Knight (66) and Brianna Decker (69), did it faster than Shirley’s 79 games.



Badgers women's hockey 50-goal scorers

Shirley’s linemate, Daryl Watts, reached 50 collegiate goals in 61 games at Boston College before she transferred to the Badgers before last season.

Together with center Brette Pettet, they form one of the most dangerous lines in college women’s hockey.

“When she has the puck, she’s one of those players like Watts that brings you to the edge of your seat,” Badgers coach Mark Johnson said about Shirley. “Like, what’s going to happen when she has the puck right now? Because it might be one of those highlight-reel shifts or plays that she’s able to put together.”

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The frightening reality of women’s concussions

It’s a moment perhaps everyone who’s played rugby — or any contact sport — has experienced; your head hitting the turf, or accidental head-to-head contact. For some, the contact doesn’t cause any issues, maybe a bruise or a bit of short term pain. For me, it meant a concussion; throbbing headaches, nausea, ‘fogginess’, a struggle to concentrate and more. Just under three months after smacking the back of my head into the ground twice over six weeks playing rugby, I’m still struggling.

It’s been an eye-opening experience.

After 15 years of playing sport, including netball, cricket, touch football and rugby, it was during a sevens match that I stood flat footed in a tackle and was steam rolled by an opposition player, hitting my head on the turf and experiencing my first concussion.

Immediately I knew there was an issue. While there wasn’t a headache straight away, I’d hit my head so hard there was almost an audible thud as it struck the ground. Moments later when I dove over the line to score a try, I stood up and cried. There was no reason; I wasn’t in any pain and in fact I should have been celebrating as I’d no doubt sealed a win for my team. But as I walked off and over to my team bench I couldn’t help it with tears rolling down my face and gasping for breath as I practically sobbed. It was one of the first signs of my concussion. The symptom list would continue to grow as the day went on.

Within days of my head knock I visited my GP to be formally diagnosed and get instructions on how to properly recover. He also sent me to receive an MRI scan as a precaution. My MRI came back clear and the GP was hopeful that if I followed the return-to-play protocols properly, I’d be fine to play within weeks. I was stupid, impatient and didn’t properly follow instructions only thinking of getting back to the field as soon as possible.

Over the years, and as more information and the lasting effects of minor traumatic brain injuries [MTBI] or concussions has come to light, sporting bodies have endeavored to make sports safer for their athletes.

Rugby has introduced new tackling height rules and the ‘blue card’ system in which players showing immediate signs of concussion are sent from the field and are unable to return to play. Rugby league has done similar, lowering the tackle height and doing away with the shoulder charge, while AFL has cracked down on head-high bumps and sling-tackles which leave players powerless to stop a head knock.

While all these measures have seen a decrease in concussions, it’s certainly almost impossible to eradicate concussions from contact sport – especially in the women’s game.

According to studies in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine, women are twice as likely as men, in like-for-like sports, to experience a concussion, symptoms are more severe for women and symptoms are likely

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Congress takes crucial step toward establishing Latino and women’s history museums

After years of commissions, reports and hearings, two proposed museums dedicated to American Latino and women’s history moved a step closer to reality Thursday, when a key Senate committee voted unanimously to approve them.

“This is a big day,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Rules Committee and a co-sponsor of the bills that authorize the Smithsonian Institution to create the National Museum of the American Latino and the American Women’s History Museum.

Klobuchar predicted that she and her committee colleagues would remember the vote when the museums open.

“These museums are critical to expanding our understanding of Latino and women’s history,” she said.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), whose advocacy for a Latino museum dates to 2003, when he was a House member, said the committee’s unanimous support of the previously passed House bill puts a Latino museum within reach.

“This is an extraordinary day in the long march toward the realization of the American Latino museum as part of our national fabric, as part of the long history of this country, a history that preceded this country,” Menendez said Thursday.

With dozens of bipartisan co-sponsors, the bills could be taken up soon by the full Senate. The House version of the bill establishing the women’s history museum was approved in February; the American Latino Museum Act was passed in July.

“I will be looking at every possible way to make that happen,” Menendez said.

[Buoyed by opening of African American Museum, backers try again for an America Latino museum]

The proposed museums would be the first new Smithsonians since the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in 2016. Like that museum, the new museums would be financed with 50 percent federal funding and 50 percent private donations. The bills charge the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents with identifying the sites for the museums within two years.

Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III offered his support for the museums.

“We are watching this important step in the process closely and will follow the guidance of Congress,” Bunch said in a statement Thursday that echoed his comments at the committee’s Nov. 17 hearing on the proposed museums. “Creating new museums is challenging, but, with appropriate funding, the Smithsonian has the skill and expertise to do it right. We can, and have, created museums that meet the needs of the nation and showcase the U.S. to the world.”

If approved, the legislation would allow the museums to collect artifacts related to their missions, create exhibitions and programs, including educational efforts, and collaborate with other Smithsonian facilities. Both bills also include language “ensuring diversity of political viewpoints.”

[Congressional panel calls for Smithsonian museum of women’s history]

Advocates have been pushing for an American Latino museum since 1994, when the Smithsonian released a report, “Willful Neglect,” outlining its failures to promote the history and culture of Hispanic Americans. The report, which called for a stand-alone museum, led to the creation of the Smithsonian Latino Center in 1997.

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Latino, women’s history Smithsonian museums get Senate committee approval

Klobuchar predicted that she and her committee colleagues would remember the vote when the museums open.

“These museums are critical to expanding our understanding of Latino and women’s history,” she said.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), whose advocacy for a Latino museum dates to 2003, when he was a House member, said the committee’s unanimous support of the previously passed House bill puts a Latino museum within reach.

“This is an extraordinary day in the long march toward the realization of the American Latino museum as part of our national fabric, as part of the long history of this country, a history that preceded this country,” Menendez said Thursday.

“I will be looking at every possible way to make that happen,” Menendez said.

The proposed museums would be the first new Smithsonians since the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in 2016. Like that museum, the new museums would be financed with 50 percent federal funding and 50 percent private donations. The bills charge the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents with identifying the sites for the museums within two years.

Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III offered his support for the museums.

“We are watching this important step in the process closely and will follow the guidance of Congress,” Bunch said in a statement Thursday that echoed his comments at the committee’s Nov. 17 hearing on the proposed museums. “Creating new museums is challenging, but, with appropriate funding, the Smithsonian has the skill and expertise to do it right. We can, and have, created museums that meet the needs of the nation and showcase the U.S. to the world.”

If approved, the legislation would allow the museums to collect artifacts related to their missions, create exhibitions and programs, including educational efforts, and collaborate with other Smithsonian facilities. Both bills also include language “ensuring diversity of political viewpoints.”

Advocates have been pushing for an American Latino museum since 1994, when the Smithsonian released a report, “Willful Neglect,” outlining its failures to promote the history and culture of Hispanic Americans. The report, which called for a stand-alone museum, led to the creation of the Smithsonian Latino Center in 1997.

In 2003, Congress established a commission to study the creation of a museum, a step that launched the earlier African American and American Indian museums. Legislators have introduced bills establishing a Latino museum in every Congress since 2011. Thursday’s vote was the first major Senate action in a decade.

“These two museums would provide a place where visitors can see, learn and gain a greater appreciation for the role that women and Latinos have played in shaping the nation we are today,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the committee chairman, said before the vote.

In 2014, Congress created a bipartisan commission to study a women’s history museum. That panel released a report in 2016, prompting Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) to introduce her first bill based on the commission’s findings.

Maloney said she is optimistic that the Senate will finish the job.

“I

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Women’s cricket: ECB announces 41 full-time domestic contracts

Alex Hartley
Spinner Alex Hartley, a World Cup winner in 2017, was one of the 25 players awarded a regional retainer contract in June

Sixteen female cricketers have been awarded full-time domestic contracts with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), taking the total to 41.

Each of the eight teams in the regional set-up now has five full-time players, with Western Storm funding a sixth.

All-rounder Jenny Gunn, who retired from England international duty in 2019, is among the players to earn one.

“This is the most significant step forward for the women’s game in recent years,” said the ECB’s Clare Connor.

The ECB awarded 25 regional retainer contracts in June, with plans to announce 40 domestic deals delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The full-time contracts are in addition to the 17 centrally contracted England players, such as Heather Knight and Natalie Sciver.

Spinner Alex Hartley, who won the 2017 World Cup alongside Gunn but lost her central contract last year, was already on a regional retainer alongside the likes of Sophia Dunkley, Tash Farrant and Bryony Smith who have played for England.

Connor, ECB director of women’s cricket, added: “In terms of the health of women’s cricket in England and Wales, we cannot overestimate the importance of these 41 players having the opportunity to train and work on their skills full-time, with access to high quality coaching and facilities across the eight regions.

“Today’s news is not only wonderful for the players themselves, it represents a step change for our whole domestic game and for young girls who will now be able to see more opportunity and aspiration in front of them.”

The players will compete in The Women’s Hundred competition, which has been postponed until 2021.

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SU women’s home-opener delayed; Water seen on court under new Dome roof

Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse women’s basketball’s home-opener against Lincoln has been delayed due to an apparent leak from the newly renovated roof.



a man standing on a court: Syracuse women's basketball's home-opener has been delayed for unknown reasons.


© Dennis Nett | [email protected]/Dennis Nett/syracuse.com/TNS
Syracuse women’s basketball’s home-opener has been delayed for unknown reasons.

Shortly before the game was set to tip at 6 p.m., officials could be seen wiping the court with several towels. Players and coaching staffs from both teams went back into their respective locker rooms.

It’s the first snow of the year since the university finished its new $118 million renovation of the roof and other parts of the Carrier Dome. The roof leaked Oct. 10 during a football game against Duke. School officials said they were still working to seal the roof.

University sports information officials refused to explain the delay.

More to come.

MORE ORANGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Syracuse women’s basketball likely to add Penn State as final non-conference game

SU women’s coach Quentin Hillsman says Teisha Hyman likely to redshirt this season

2 Syracuse women’s basketball players on Wooden Award watch list

AP poll: SU women’s basketball climbs after season-opening win over Stony Brook

Axe: An unforgettable weekend for Syracuse University sports

Contact Mike Curtis anytime at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @MikeACurtis2.

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Volunteers of America Classic marks LPGA’s return to North Texas, will serve as tune up for U.S. Women’s Open

The LPGA is back in North Texas with the Volunteers of America Classic at the Old American Golf Club in The Colony.

The rescheduled tournament (from October) now doubles as a tuneup for next week’s U.S. Women’s Open that will be contested at Champions Golf Club’s Cypress Creek Course in Houston and the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Fla., the following week.

The VOA Classic is in its third year at the links-style Old American Golf Club designed by Tripp Davis and 12-time PGA TOUR winner Justin Leonard after its first five events took place at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving.

The 120-player field this week includes world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, two-time VOA Classic champion and world No. 5 Inbee Park, 2014 VOA Classic champion Stacey Lewis and defending champion Cheyenne Knight.

Knight, 23, who resides in Aledo, enjoys playing close to home.

“It’s nice. It’s more comfortable. You know, it’s different than staying in a hotel, having a rental car, but you know, I know where everything is, I don’t even need a GPS,” Knight said. “Yeah, coming home every night, sleeping in my own bed with my family and my dogs. Because the weather’s colder, I don’t need to go buy anything because I have everything at home in my closet, so it’s really nice.”

Another Texas golfer in the field is Kristen Gillman, 23, who is originally from Austin. Gillman is looking forward to playing even though there will be no fans allowed on the grounds.

“Everyone’s been texting me and asking if they can come and watch, so sadly I have to keep telling them ‘No, sorry, fans aren’t allowed yet.’ I know that they’re all watching and they’re all excited to watch live scoring,” she said. “I mean, they’re just excited to be able to see me compete. Even though they won’t be here in person, they can at least watch some of it on TV. I think they’re excited to see me out here playing in Texas.”

VOA CLASSIC CHARITY CHALLENGE

The festivities kicked off with the VOA Classic Charity Challenge on Wednesday afternoon featuring Texas natives Stacy Lewis and Gerina Piller taking on Sophia Popov and Mel Reid in what was billed as a “Solheim Cup-style showdown” between Team USA and Team Europe.

Playing the back nine of the Old American Golf Club’s par-71 layout, they were joined by former Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler and former Stars goalie Marty Turco to play the par-5 No. 17th hole.

“I like to get beat up psychologically, that’s why I play golf,” Kinsler cracked on the Golf Channel broadcast. “I’ll swing hard in case I hit it.”

And hit it he did. Kinsler’s drive carried 299 yards for Team USA, albeit a little off the fairway.

Turco ripped his drive as well and donned a Stars goalie mask for his walk down the fairway.

Kinsler and Turco each drained birdie putts on No. 17, carrying the

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40% off women’s sweaters and shoes today + coupon for 10% off! :: WRAL.com

* This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you use them.

Target is offering a fabulous new coupon for 10% off one online or in-store purchase through December 12!

Plus, the Target Cyber Week Deals are continuing with new offers every day this week.

Coupon Offer

The 10% off coupon offer is valid for Target Circle members and you can load the coupon and see the details at Target.com HERE. It’s good for one-time use and there is a limit of one coupon per person. The offer excludes alcohol and a number of toys, games, electronics, gaming systems and more. See all the exclusions on the Target website.

Cyber Week Deals

The Target Cyber Week Deals are still going strong including new daily deals each day.

On December 2, you’ll score 30% off cold weather gear and boots for the family. Online only.

On Dec. 3, you’ll save 40% off women’s sweaters and shoes, 30% off men’s and women’s All in Motion Activewear and more!

See all the Cyber Week Deals at Target.com HERE including the following sales:

Clothing

* 30% off cold weather gear and boots for adults and kids

Kitchen

* There are a bunch of Cyber Week kitchen sales up to 50% off at Target.com HERE!

* Power XL Vortex Air Fryer- 3qt – Black: $49.99 (reg. $99.99) – 50% off!

* Instant Pot Duo Nova 8qt 7-in-1 One-Touch Multi-Use Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker with New Easy Seal Lid – Latest Model: $69.99 (reg. $119.99)

* Keurig K-Classic Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker K50: $79.99 (reg. $119.99)

* PowerXL Grill Air Fryer Combo: $99.99 (reg. $149.99)

Home

* Up to 50% off Upright & Robot Vacuums and Robot Vacuums HERE!

* Save up to 20% on Bedding & Bath online only

* Save $10 on Trim a Tree when you spend $50 with the Target Circle Offer. See all the deals HERE!

* Christmas Lights starting at $2 (and included in the $10 Target Circle discount offer above)

* Cricut Explore Air 2 Craft Cutting Machine: $179.00 (reg. $229)

Baby Car Seats, Booster Seats, Strollers, Nursery Furniture

* Huge sale on baby products including Graco, Infant Optics, nursery furniture, Ergobaby Carriers, Halo Bassinets, Chicco baby gear products, baby & bath toys, baby gyms and entertainers HERE

* Graco Sequence 65 Convertible Car Seat: $111.99 (reg. $159.99)

* Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat: $119.99 (reg. $199.99)

* Graco FastAction SE Travel System: $143.99 (reg. $190.99)

* Graco Grows4Me 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat: $149.99 (reg. $199.99)

Electronics

* Amazon Fire TV Stick with 4K Ultra HD Streaming Media Player and Alexa Voice Remote (2nd Generation): $29.99 (reg. $49.99)

Toys

* Select Disney Toys are Buy 2 Get 1 Free

See all the Cyber Monday Deals at Target.com HERE!

Extended Price Match Guarantee

Target is also extending their Price Match Guarantee beyond the normal 14 day window. According to the Target announcement, “From Nov. 1 through Dec. 24, if you snag a great item

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