Play Free! Safeguarding Sport from GBV

[24.11.12, Lusaka] The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence is a period that we value as we engage more intensely and closely with the issue of Gender Based Violence and with the global community addressing GBV.

NOWSPAR through it’s Play Free! Program is working to contribute to the safeguarding of sport by mobilising the various stakeholders to be aware of the problem and to recognise the opportunities for prevention and response.

NOWSPAR Executive Director Matilda Mwaba says ‘now more than ever, we need to be pragmatic about GBV, it’s not something that we leave at home, it happens everywhere and unfortunately within sport as well. In Zambia, we are mobilising the sports community to rise to the challenge and deal with it.’

Our role is to catalyse the action to prevent GBV such as by facilitating the appreciation of the issues by relevant government departments to ensure action is planned, resourced and accounted for. We are further engaging with sport organisations to explore their structural arrangements to ensure the issue of safety from GBV is integrated within the policies and practices that they have. The third aspect of this approach is cooperation with sport associations and organisations to facilitate access to the athletes and coaches and other personnel in order for them to be reached and trained as leaders and to speak out for themselves,

Gender Based Violence in Sport occurs in the context of a sport institution, between sport participants or practitioners, during or on the way to or from sport events or activities. Sport based violence falls under a wide spectrum of community violence which is elaborated by the World Health Organisation as ‘violence occurring in the public space or institutions among acquaintances or strangers.’

Our actions during this period include media discussions, youth forums, and meetings with sport institution leaders and with government.

Throughout the year, we are cognisant that sport is valuable in itself and as a platform and tool to achieve various development goals; this then drives us to be even more vigilant and proactive in preventing GBV. By engaging across sectors, having a multi -faceted program reinforced by commitment and will, we are confident that together, we can address this issue.

We look forward to a world where all can Play Free

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