In the build-up to its upcoming World Conference, the International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) conducted a two-day workshop over the weekend to drill National Sports Associations (NSAs) on gender mainstreaming issues.
Speaking with this publication on the sidelines of the workshop, IWG secretory general Game Mothibi said the workshop was mainly held to equip NSAs on gender issues to enable them to include such issues in their policies when they plan and strategise. “We want them to understand that people do sports as women and men but we have different needs,” she said.
“We want to put them in a situation where they are able to take care of athletes’ needs and welfare. They should not focus only on athletes bringing medals from competitions. After this workshop we intend to come up with a gender and sports strategy which will be used as basis for codes to borrow from when implementing their own strategies.”
However, Mothibi decried the low turnout of NSAs during the workshop because it cripples their ability to learn. “When we send invitations, we expect a code to send two representatives, but some codes are not represented at all,” she noted.
“They are dragging their feet but it is not good for them because they will be left behind on gender issues. How are they going to suitably treat the girl child in their code when they don’t attend these workshops?”
For her part, workshop facilitator Collin Morna Lowe of Gender Links stated that it was important for NSAs to tackle issues surrounding gender inequality in sports as sports had an incredible opportunity in developing the youth of Botswana.
“Sports has a great way of building teamwork, confidence and self-esteem,” Lowe said. “It is also a great way of branding and giving visibility to social issues and it can be used to end gender violence and inequality.”
The 7th IWG World Conference will be held from 17 to 20 May in Gaborone, Botswana under the theme, “Determine the Future. Be Part of the Change.”