The Women in Sport Conference held in Gaberone, Botswana from 4th – 7th August resolved to take a strong stance on the need to advance women’s sport in the region. The meeting brought together delegates from 10 countries in Southern Africa and resulted in a declaration that will be presented to the Council of Sport Ministers.
The declaration re-affirms the principles of among other instruments the Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport, the SADC Protocol on Sport, Information and Cluture and is grounded in human rights principles.
Our Executive Director Ms. Matilda Mwaba was at the meeting where she facilitated sessions on developing action plans, and she said ‘I am pleased we are making definit progress in dealing with critical issues in sport including gender based violence. An additional key outcome of this meeting was the networking and re-establishment and strengthening of links across the region and building a sense of collective purpose. I believe the Zone is committed to moving forward and it is this sort of dedication and action that will change the game for women in sport in Southern Africa‘
The Minister of Sport, Botswana, Honourable Shaw Ngathi opened the Conference, the Minister emphasized the importance of sport to development and urged member states to prioritize sports development as sport as the power to ensure productivity of the country. He also emphasized the need for national leaders to be formed and fashioned through sport due to the hard work, discipline and tolerance it instills.
During the opening of the ceremony, a former Chairperson of the Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO) now Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Dorcas Malesu gave her life experience of how sport helped turn her into the great leader she had become.
The Zambian delegation to the meeting included, Ministry of Youth and Sport represented by Ms Thandeka Grace Soko Snr. Sports Development Officer, Major Milfred Muke Sports Development Officer at the National Sports Council of Zambia , Mrs. Brenda M. Chipande of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia and Ms. Sarah Brotherton, Treasurer at the National Paralympic Committee of Zambia.
The conference was led by Dr. Kari Fasting, international expert on Women and Sport currently with the Norwegian Olympic Committee and Mr. Stanley Mutoya, General Manager SCSA Zone VI.
The following are the recommendation made from the deliberations of the conference which should be implemented in our Country,
§ Inclusion of capacity building, empowerment programmes and provision of sports equipment/safe spaces for women to participate in sport.
§ Assist the National Sports Council of Zambia and sports associations/bodies develop gender balanced policies.
§ Creation of a Gender Unit in the Department of Sports Development by November 2014.
§ Domesticate the 40% of women in sports leadership at ministerial, National Sports Council and sports association levels.
Research and Development
§ Create a Ministerial data base that will provide information on all sports activities in the Country,
§ Create a Ministerial library for provision and storage of information,
§ Encourage networking through electronic technology,
§ Facilitate short, medium and long term training for women in sport,
§ Facilitate exchange of programmes through exchange programmes through local, regional and international interactions.
§ Facilitate advocacy platforms for women in sport,
§ Provide for a code of conduct in sport,
§ Domesticate the 40% women in leadership law and ensure adherence at all levels,
Gender Based Violence
§ Facilitate GBV in sport awareness programmes in both the print and electronic media,
§ Ensure compliance to the code of conduct,
§ Promote empowerment of women in sport,
§ Facilitate the creation of 24/7 toll free lines for reporting and mediating on GBV cases in sport,
Women in Sport Commission
§ Ensure the Establishment of a Women and Sport Commission that will be spearheaded by the Ministry of Youth and Sport and the National Sports Council of Zambia,
§ Ensure the establishment of a Women in Sport Commission Secretariat.