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Photo courtesy of Monirul Bhuivan/Press Photo

Removing gender equality hurdles in sport discussed in Botswana

23 May 2018

The Commonwealth has reinforced its commitment to get more women leading and participating in sport.

Delegates to the 7th International Working Group World Conference on Women and Sport in the Botswana capital, Gaborone, discussed ways to ensure gender equality in sport.  

A highlight of the conference was a preview of a national strategy, developed with Commonwealth technical support, presented to delegates by the Botswanan National Sports Commission and Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO).

Senior officials and experts want to make sure that women and girls take part in sport on a level playing field, removing hurdles in the way. They want to ensure gender mainstreaming runs through every part of sport policy.

In a key note address to the Conference Oliver Dudfield, the Commonwealth head of Sport for Development and Peace, praised the Botswanan government.

“It stands to be another legacy from hosting the IWG World Conference and is a further example of Botswana’s leadership on gender equality in sport,” he said.

Delegates to the conference discussed the relevance for sport of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) on equality and non-discrimination.

They also addressed the elimination of gender based violence in sport.

Mr. Dudfield stressed the importance of policy reform to address inequality in sport and of governments working with sporting organisations to ensure all those involved, regardless of their role, were aware of their responsibilities to foster gender equality.

Conference participants agreed on a five-point plan dubbed the ‘IWG Botswana Big 5’.

It includes women being represented at all levels in sport, governance and accountability, addressing media representation and improved communication.