Africa Women and Sport Conference

START DATE: 14 October, 2016

END DATE: 15 October, 2016

The International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) hosted the Africa Women and Sport Conference on the 14th and the 15th October 2016 in Gaborone, Botswana. The conference came about as part of the realisation of the IWG legacy plan which includes leaving a legacy for Africa.

The conference was held under the theme “Reshaping Africa Women and Sport” and featured a wide range of presentations focused on the current landscape of women and sport in Africa and globally. The conference main aim was to stimulate debate and explore how best to influence for positive change for women and sport in Africa.

The conference was also designed to allow for a space to share best practices and exchange ideas as well as to ready Africa for the 7th World Conference on Women and Sport to be held in 2018 in Botswana (17-20 May 2018). 

The opening ceremony of the conference was held on the 14th of October and officiated by the African Union Director of Social Affairs,  Dr Mustapha Kaloko who delivered the opening remarks. Other key presenters during the opening ceremony included the Assistant Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Botswana, who gave the welcome remarks, the IWG Africa Regional Representative Ms. Matilda Mwaba who gave a background of the event and remarks by the Chairperson of CIGEPS and Deputy Minister of Sports, SA Hon. Gert C. Oosthuizen who focused on Gender Based Violence and its fundamental violations of human rights and applauded IWG for seeing this as a key issue to address over the 2 day conference. The opening ceremony was closed by the Botswana National Sports Commission Chairperson Mr. Solly Reikeletseng.

The program featured presenters from various backgrounds including captains of industry in different sectors- scholars, researchers, media personalities, athletes (current and retired), and administrators of sport, students and many more. The program was structured in 4 main plenaries and 20 parallel workshops and also featured key note presentations. Recommendations were made from the different plenary sessions and amongst the resolutions were:

  • Need for policy development to specific issues in a bid to help address issues of culture and it influence on the growth of women and sport.
  • Need to avail resources for women and sport
  • Communication
  • Need to design programs for inclusion in sport
  • Need for mentorship of women in sport with disabilities
  • Need to train media on women and sport issues so that they are able to put together and package sellable stories
  • There is need to reduce reliance on traditional media and utilise online spaces to promote women and sport.
  • Enhanced profiling of women and sport
  • Need to advocate for structural changes in Governments
  • Need for sports leaders to work with Governments to gender mainstream and effect change in sports.
  • The need to advocate for gender responsive funding and develop national gender policies in different countries
  • The need to integrate gender mainstreaming and sport
  • There is need for Government officials to attend women and sport conferences to take the lead in implementing resolutions
  • Need for inclusion of men in all planning for women and sport
  • Need for partnership between women and sport and African Union
  • There is need to set up timelines to show implementation and progress monitoring.

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