The deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, Kago Ramokate says inequality and gender stereotype should not deny women equal opportunities as their male counterparts
Officially opening Africa’s technical working group meeting, he said there was a need to work hard to deal with issues of gender inequality and ensure that women feel welcome and play their rightful part in the development of sport.
Ramokate further said significant progress and gains could only be achieved through the engagement of all stakeholders.
He said Africa remains a priority as far as empowerment of women in sport was concerned, adding that Botswana has been given a mammoth task to host the IWG conference and to revive the women’s sports movement in Africa.
He said the main aim of Women Sport Africa was directed towards advancing a sporting culture that promotes gender equality, providing equal opportunities for girls and boys, women and men with regards to education and training, participation and promotion as well as equal involvement of both sexes in the decision making process.
On other issues, Ramokate said his ministry has been set up to establish an active sporting community, adding that they were aware that the community was not a homogenous group, but there were special groups within the communities, and a group of women which the ministry had paid attention to.
He said it was his ministry’s view that the contribution of women in sport could not be over-emphasised, adding that in recognition of that, the need to support and recognise women within all levels of sport, the government has acceded to the Botswana National Sport Commission’s bid to host the 2018 International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG).
“We accept that there is a lot of work to be done to address issues of gender inequality in all sectors of the economy, but for us as a ministry, it is critical that we are seen to be doing something in the sport arena,” he said.
Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), vice chairperson, Tebogo Kesupile said the world regions have set their standards and many advance in their approach to issues of women in sport.
She said Africa’s technical working group delegates would engage in dialogue that would pave the way to an effective Africa Women in Sport movement, and to put together a proper and functional structure that was accountable and produces measurable and tangible results.
Women in Sport Africa (WSA) representative, Matilda Mwamba said the aim of the WSA network was directed towards advancing a sporting culture that promotes gender equality as well as to promote national equality work in sports dissemination of information within African sport organisations and bodies at government and non-governmental level.