Vad kan basket göra!


What can basketball do!

I am playing basketball with World Wide Ladies for almost three months. When I am writing this blog, we are preparing for one-day basketball tournament called ‘World Wide Ladies Cup’.
Only three months ago, who were shy and afraid to play, uncomfortable to run, those newly arrived women on Gotland going to compete in basketball arena!
World Wide Ladies players
If I ask myself how I am feeling, that answer will be so emotional. Yes! Every day I get courage and strength. I seem to involve myself to make a change.
What can basketball do? Sports can make people feel strong, secure. It can give someone power to feel freedom. It's not my words; I am talking what I saw!

Living in one highly gender equaled country, women still fighting to make their choice. Women who are not allowed to participate sports or who are struggling against conservative culture. It seems like that all fighting for freedom through basketball.
When I started ‘Loka Heroes project,' it was only dreamed for me to get them on the basketball court. But now it's happening. I think it can be a big change!
Every Wednesday in klintehamn, every Friday in Visby women from different country come for training. It's a new practice for them. It works in many ways. All kinds of sports are beneficial for health.
On the other hand, somebody who think women can do only cooking food and raising kids, now they will know women can play basketball also.
Now a days, some players leave their children with husbands at home. It is also a new practice for them. One day I asked one woman if it is ok for her husband. She answered me, he (husband) has to learn.
Honestly, newly arrived women in Gotland are doing so many new things. That’s why I said, this is not only basketball. It's a way to feel freedom! And I hope, this is only the beginning.

Varför jag väljer idrotten!

Aldrig någonsin tidigare hade jag tänkt mig att jag skulle fä sådan förkärlek till sport. Men nu efter att ha funderat en stund så insåg jag att sporten har spelat en viktig roll för min karriärsväg.

Jag är född och uppvuxen i en liten by i Bangladesh; en tjej med en livsdröm som ifrågasatte samhällsnormerna. När jag gick i gymnasieskolan var de flesta skolflickorna redan tvungna att gifta sig, och under mina doktorandår hade mina kompisars liv begränsats till hemmets och hushållet med uppgifter till sina män och barn.

Jag var också tänkt att möta samma öde. Men jag bestamde mig för att undvika dessa hinder och fortsatte istället att drömma.

Något underbart hände som ändrade mig i livet. Jag brukade spela badminton efter mina skoldagar. Imponerad av mitt ivriga intresse arrangerade vår gymlärare ett separat träningspass för tjejer. Men bara för att jag spelade badminton började folk undra över vem jag var. Några åskådare kom bara för att se mina bröst studsa när jag spelade. De gjorde ofta sexuella anspelningar och skrattade att mig. De gjorde mitt liv svårt. Pojkar som spelade badminton behandlades annorlunda och hyllades som skolhjältar.

Min familj började ta emot klagomål. Människor anklagade mig för att i hemlighet leka med pojkar. En dag blev min farbror arg och bröt av mitt favoritracket. Jag har tolererat min situation i tysthet.

Under den tiden var jag besatt av en ny tanke. Jag lovade mig själv att utmana könsdiskrimineringen som jag stött på hela mitt liv. Jag blev en allätande läsare och började också skriva ner mina tankar.

Jag hade ett mål som innebar att förandra det i samhället som ifrågasatte mitt värde och integritet bara för att jag sportade.

Jag studerade hårt, till min familjs förtret, valde jag journalistik som ett yrke. Jag valde pennan för att kämpa för kvinnans rättigheter. I min kamp fortsatte jag att skriva mot våld och mot förtryck som drabbar kvinnor på grund av medeltida religiösa övertygelser och patriarkala normer i samhället.

Mot slutet av tiden av dödshot, när jag äntligen bestämt mig för att lämna landet, trodde jag att jag var en förlorare i detta krig. Men då insåg jag att geografi aldrig är ett hinder för att nå sitt mål.

När jag nu vistas på en ö i Sverige drömmer jag fortfarande om kvinnors frigörelse, och "World wide Ladies" -programmet är resultatet av min passion.

World Wide Ladies är en plattform, där nyanlända kvinnor i Sverige spelar basket, badminton och andra sporter. Vi startade i början av året och några månader senare spelade vi en turnering. Kvinnorna, som inte ens kunde springa i början på grund av blyghet och brist på övning, får mig numera att le när jag ser deras glädje och vinnarinstinkt.

Vårt arbete med plattformen är att uppmuntra och engagera nyanlända människor i Sverige till olika aktiviteter. Basketbollen är vårt huvudfokus och ibland är arbetet ganska besvärligt.

Jag tänker att vi måste knacka på hos kvinnorna i deras hem för att informera eftersom de inte är medvetna om sina rättigheter när det gäller jämställdhet och hälsofrågor. Det låter galet, men vi behöver göra på detta vis.
Vi tar med dem till basketplanerna, motiverar dem för träningspassen och gör dem medvetna om hälsoeffekterna av att sporta.

Många tjejer får inte spela. Kvinnor, som trodde att deras ansvar var att bara laga mat till familjen och ta hand om barn, är i dag i radikal föränding av sin livsstil, eftersom de stolt säger "Vi har en basketbollsövning idag".

Först stod de inför ett berg av hinder. Deras män förbjöd dem att spela, deras familj och släkt bosatta i länder som Afghanistan, Irak och Syrien var mot dem som spelade. Dessa kvinnor genomför numera ett krig på flera fronter.

Kvinnorna som tidigare levde i förtvivlan och förtryck under Al Qaida och ISIS spelar idag med självförtroende på basketplanen.

Men åven i ett land som Sverige står dessa kvinnor ofta inför liknande utmaningar som de mötte i sina hemländer. Samtidigt finns det också en skarp kontrast för här kan inte någon skada dessa kvinnor bara för att de talar och tar plats.

Jag har börjat jobba för Gotlands Idrottsförbund. Jag har massor av ansvar, och arbetets omfattning har också ökat allt eftersom med alla nya medarbetare och nya deltagare. Men målet är och förblir detsamma nämligen att: Sport kan tyckas trivialt men har kraften och förmågan att öka kvinnors självförtroende, självsäkerhet och hälsa.

Shamima Aktar

Jag är fortfarande en slampa

I am still a slut!

I was a slut, and still, I am!

I was a slut in my country. I was a slut because I wanted equal rights for women.  I haven't given up yet.

In my school, I was a slut. Back then, not many girls participated in sports because of patriarchy and social barriers. Not many girls can think of wearing sportswear. I started to play badminton, wearing sportswear. For that single reason, peoples used to call me a slut.  Many people used to treat me as a “bad girl”. I can still remember the gossip about me: “her boobs jump”, “she wants to show her tits”,  “a good girl can’t wear that type of dresses”.

Months ago one of my school friends shared a photo of mine and tagged me. There was the annual school sports program at my old school, and a lot of girls participated in sports events wearing sportswear. He captioned the photo: “one slut started it many years ago”……

It's not about clothes; rather it's about a backward patriarchal mentally, where any girl can be a slut only for her dress up!

When I started my career as a journalist, I became a slut. All of my male journalist colleagues were allowed to smoke, even my juniors. I wasn’t, because they think that smoking is only for men. I didn’t listen to them; I became a slut because I smoked.

There are so many stories about me or any girl in my country of how we became sluts.

I came to Sweden last year. Sweden is a highly gender-equal country. But even here I heard that same slurs! I saw that same looks!

I lived in an asylum camp for more than nine months. When I moved into a house with my boyfriend, he got wishes from some people for our new life. “Give her a good fuck, then leave her” that was their wish!

I wear short dresses, I smoke, play football with boys, I dance, eat pork, drink. And because of all of my activities some people think I am a slut. They believe that I “sleep” with anybody, anytime, anywhere!

I am not surprised! I know, we live in 2016, but their mentalities remain 1400 years ago from now.

Dear patriarchs, you need to know, any girl can do whatever they want, and you are nobody to judge them. Stop judging us with your filthy mouths and minds.

Dear people, when you call me a “slut”, I still feel proud! I hope someday; my feelings will help you to become a decent human being!

Jag vill inte lämna ön där vi hör hemma

It seems like I aged over a night. In a letter, the migration board informed me that we have to leave Gotland, to somewhere else. The thought of taking responsibility for my own came all of a sudden. But it’s not that easy as it seems. I need to find a roof over my head, a job to sustain my family, a daycare for my daughter; so many different thoughts all at once. I have decided already; there is no way I am going to leave Gotland.

What is so special about Gotland? For me, you have to endure through a hundred years of loneliness to adjust on Gotland. To many people, it's a lonely planet. But loneliness has perks of its own. Maybe that’s why I am in love with this small island. I feel as a part of it.

Upon hearing the instructions of leaving Gotland, I emotionally broke down at first. Back home in Bangladesh, I had something that I could be proud of. In a conservative Bangladesh society, it takes tremendous willpower for a woman to live alone. Just like Virginia Wolf said, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” I had to stand up against patriarchal prejudices. I had a place of my own, a job of a journalist. I also took a bold step forward by adopting a child. I wanted to prove that a woman doesn’t have to get pregnant to claim her right of motherhood. In Bangladesh, women are not considered equal to men regarding the custodial rights of children. Women have to sacrifice a lot. I wanted to change these societal norms, transform the society into a better one; a society free of all prejudices and dogmas, where people could live freely. I sought after the luminous path of enlightenment.

Yes, my only crime is that I write; a crime that forced me to live in exile. Regardless of that, I haven’t stopped writing.

A sudden phone call brought an abrupt end to these miscellaneous thoughts. Over the phone, a friend informed me about finding me a place, also a small job. Another friend stopped by, reinvigorated me with a bunch of inspiring words. This is the fantasy of life, sometimes embroidered with love. I haven’t given up yet, I will never do that. Best of luck to my new life, Lycka till!

We are not alone

No one wants to leave their home, I never wanted to leave our home. But I had to leave my country. I had to find a place, so that nobody could kill me for my voice.
I came to Sweden 5th November, 2015. Few days later I came Gotland. I left my 27 years in Bangladesh, my family, my friends. I left my job as a journalist.
I see myself as a strong and brave woman. But that was not enough to start a new life without everything. I was empty in my heart. New country, new people, new circumstances. It was so hard to start over with my 4 years old daughter; alone. That was not so long ago.
One sentence changed my life. I heard all the time ‘you are not alone’. This is only a sentence but strong one, when you live in emotional vulnerability.
I’ve met some people that made my heart full of love and bravery. They gave me courage to survive.
Good people want to help one and other. If you saw someone on your street who needed help, you’d do what you could to help – it’s natural. It’s our instinct as human beings. If you say people here are helping us, I will say, its more than help!
I always think that what we need more than anything, is empathy and compassion. I need to know that people care about us, and that there are good things coming to us, we need to have hope. It’s hard to explain what a difference it makes when you’re alone, to know that people are thinking about you and want to help you.
I met a woman who drives people to basketball, to library, to football like a taxi driver. I met a young beautiful girl who takes care of my daughter so that I can play badminton. I met people who share their happiness with us. We didn’t get help, we got support as a family.
I learn many things here. I discover myself in different ways with new people. Finally, I realize Paulo Coelho’s quote “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. I am still learning.”

Namn: Shamima Mitu Ålder: 28 år Yrke: Journalist och bloggare Bor: på Gotland Familj: Dottern Orin Intressen: Badminton

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