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Zanzibar to Organize Half Marathon (ZANZIHALF) to Promote Gender Mainstreaming, Attain Sustainable Development Goal(SDG)

Stone Town, Zanzibar (January 6th, 2018)_More than 300local women and men, girls and boys are expected to participate in the race ZANZI HALF scheduled February 4th, 2018 in Stone Town

ZANZI HALF is an international standard sporting and cultural event featuring a half marathon 10 km and 5 km to be staged for the first time in the East African archipelago of Zanzibar highlighting women´s empowerment and gender equality.

The race is a response to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development with a call out for action in the world, and is organized by the local interfaith women´s program Upendo Means Love and the Danish NGO and running community Right to Movement in collaboration with ZIFF, Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) and Zanzibar Amateur Athletic Association (ZAAA).

Women and girls are at the very heart of the agenda in an acknowledgement that their participation is crucial as a pre-condition for the achievement of sustainable development, says one of the organizer,Ms Lotte Bredholt. 

The race will bring together women and men from the grass root level united in a movement that will translate into further action, transforming gender norms by challenging existing traditional roles, taboo and break down stereotypes showing women and girls as active agents of change and peace. However, sustainability and equality is only achievable if women and men work together.

“Running is empowering” continues Lotte Bredholt, “when women and girls realize their potential and strength on the track and on the streets, there is a spillover effect to other areas of life”. Running is a tool as well for inter-community dialogue continues Lotte Bredholt.  Besides the race event, ZANZI HALF encourages local society, rural and urban, to take up running and to be part of a running community. In the meeting between people, sharing experience and passion for a common activity, socio cultural, religious and gender barriers diminish. “It´s a commitment to enhance diversity and inclusion, and is part of the global agenda for sustainable development”.

Fumba Town Development, a project by CPS (FTD),is sponsoring the event as part of their support for socio-economic development in Zanzibar. Fumba Town Development combines state-of-the-art residential properties, based on a modern and sustainable infrastructure, with commercial, educational and recreational areas to create a new, modern lifestyle in Zanzibar.

As part of our community development initiatives, we are proud to have teamed up with Zanzihalf for their initial half-marathon on February 4th. We are very excited about the upcoming event and are already training as Fumba Town Team to take part in the race. With regular participants of about 30 runners from our company and the villagers around, we already make an impact towards bringing the communities together.

The Zanzibar Amateur Athletic Association welcomes a race which brings awareness to the role of sport empowering women, however as MlingiBwire points out, a proper half marathon also should have cash prices to attract the elite runners. Though not big, the tree first runners from the two distances 10k and half marathon will be rewarded with a price. All participants will receive a medal.

About the partners

Upendo Women Empowerment is a non-for-profit faith based womens program and social enterprise established in 2005 with the mission of bringing women and girls of different faith together to promote solidarity, trust and peace and to fight poverty by empowering women through vocational training and employment. The vision is a Zanzibar where empowered women and men of different faith contribute to an equal, just and peaceful society, a society where women and men are ready to stand up for human rights, social and economic prosperity and thereby increase equal opportunities in life. In doing so, women and men in Zanzibar become an example of peaceful coexistence and respect between people of different faith.

Right to Movement is a global running community with a growing number of runners, races and communities all over the world running to claim their human right to freedom of movement. RTM is a non-profit, non-religious and non-politic social movement.

Right to Movement came into existence in April 2013, as a conceptual bi-product of the inaugural event Palestine Marathon. Under the slogan “Right to Movement”, RTM held the first ever Palestine Marathon to promote the basic human right to freedom of movement as stipulated under Article 13 in the Human Rights Charter – and to tell a new story about Palestine.

Building on the success of the inaugural Palestine Marathon, Right to Movement establishes running communities and races primarily in countries where the right to free movement is threatened - either for citizens in general or for women in particular. Communities of running activists engaged in the world, with a global and humanitarian outlook who use their love of running to claim their human rights - either for themselves or in solidarity with others. And to inspire others to do the same via their story-sharing on SoMe using the hashtag #righttomovement.In 2016 Right to Movement was awarded as NGO of the year by the organization Sports and Peace in Monaco.

Zanzibar International Film Festival ZIFF also known as Festival of the Dhow Countries is an annual film festival held in Zanzibar.  ZIFF is a non-governmental organization established in 1997 and has developed into one of the largest multi-disciplinary art and cultural festival in Africa dedicated to films, music and different form of arts. Over the years, ZIFF has used their platform Women Panorama as a medium of women´s power and visibility to highlight and address pertinent gender and social issues. The Women´s Panorama commonly comprises of a series of workshops, parades, cultural activities, seminars and symposia organized and centered on the visibility of women in and through medium of cinema, the arts and the media.

Registration for the race have started for international and regional participation on the website zanzihalf.com and locally in Stone Town at Upendo Means Love located at Kiponda area, at the heart of the historic stone town. or contact Info@zanzihalf.comt tel +255 (0) 777 120 651.  For press contact: Ms. Lotte Bredholt, +255777120561

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