Young Women in Judo Have Got the Power!

The She’s Got Power! Awareness workshop on Human Rights and Gender Based Violence was conducted on Sunday 16th October 2011 in Lusaka, Zambia. The Workshop brought together 20 young women from the Zambia Judo Association to engage with the issues of the right to sport, increasing participation and addressing harassment and abuse.

The workshop participants were drawn from Lusaka based clubs including Green Buffalos, Police, Zambia National Service, Zambia Army, Ippon and Central Sports Club. The workshop was officiated by the President of the Zambia Judo Association Mr. Alfred Foloko and NOWSPAR Executive Director Ms. Matilda Mwaba.

The She’s Got Power! Program is aimed at raising awareness of human rights among young women and equipping them with skills and information to address gender based violence and other gender issues.

The Workshop outcomes include increased awareness among female judo athletes, commitment by the Association leadership to implement adjustments and initiatives to address harassment and abuse in sport.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Matilda Mwaba, Ms. Lombe Mwambwa and Ms. Samantha Lukonde of NOWSPAR, issues covered included right to sport, motivation for women’s engagement in Judo, ambitions and plans, decision making, access to resources and harassment and abuse.

The workshop was conducted using group discussions, personal reflection, plenary session and role play.

The young women made the following recommendations, which they presented to the Judo Association president:

Recommendations of the Workshop on Human Rights and Gender Based Violence among female Judo athletes

  1. There should be a code of conduct in the Associations for players and coaches to avoid discrimination and harassment
  2. There should be committees in the Clubs which young women can be a part of to enhance their involvement in decision making
  3. There should be a women’s Committee of the Executive Committee of the Zambia Judo Association to look into the affairs of women Judokas
  4. There should be a strategy to make sure there is enough Judo Suites so that all players have a personal suit each to expand their options of training times and locations
  5. There should be awareness and training of men in Judo on human rights and gender based violence
  6. Leaders and coaches should not neglect issues raised by women as petty, all issues and ideas must be given due consideration in decision making and conflict resolution
  7. There should be more tournaments and workshops for women specifically to promote networking and completion opportunities
  8. There should be transport available for players to trainings and tournaments

Speaking after receiving the recommendations, Mr. Foloko said he was pleased that this workshop was a success and that the young women in Judo are speaking up, he reassured the participants that his Executive Committee would work hard to ensure the welfare of women was secured and their participation enhanced. “We won’t tolerate any harassment or human rights violations from any technical staff, executive members, coaches or players against the girls and women in Judo.

In a vote of thanks, workshop participant Yolanda Said “Today is a special day, we have been reminded about our human rights and had a rare chance to freely talk about  gender based violence. Mr. President, we look forward to your executive committee fulfilling the recommendations from this workshop. This workshop is enlightening as it has helped us discuss issues we keep quiet about that affect us. We look forward to more workshops and we thank NOWSPAR for their support. On behalf of the Judo Sheroes, thank you.”

The She’s Got Power! program is supported by the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF) and Women Win

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Happy Teachers Day!

World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 5 October to celebrate the essential role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels. It also commemorates the anniversary of the 1966 signature of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.

The 2011 events are focusing on the theme “Teachers for Gender Equality” drawing attention to the role of teachers in advancing gender equality. We celebrate teachers all over the world and in particular Physical Education Teachers.

We commend P.E teachers for their commitment and innovation and dedication to their work, often working with minimal resources and faced with cultural barriers limiting especially girls participation in physical activity;

 

We commend the corporate sector, government and sport for development initiatives that are supporting Physical Education programs;

We urge governments and schools to invest in P.E equipment and facilities, time-table space, as well as in-service training of P.E teachers;

We urge P.E teachers to actively engage both sexes in the delivery of P.E activities and lessons.

Happy Teachers Day!