She Leads Survey

“We must cultivate a generation of women who have vision and integrity, women who are sensitive to gender issues, who will have a purpose to achieve when they take up leadership positions- advocating for equal opportunities, empowerment of women and girls in sport” Matilda Mwaba NOWSPAR Executive Director


Featured imageThe latest Women in Sport Leadership Survey was conducted by NOWSPAR in March, 2015.  NOWSPAR conducts this survey to establish the extent to which women are being represented on the boards of National Sports Federations.

Over the years, the trend has been that leadership among women in Sports federations has been generally low.

This year’s survey was comprised of 29 sports federations.

The percentage of Female Board Member is 23% as compare to men 77%.

21% of associations have have female General Secretaries.

7% of associations have female Chairperson/President

7% of associations have female Board Member at least 50%.

Featured imageFeatured image

Since the survey is conducted regularly, the table below summarises the findings over the years for the surveys conducted.

Unfortunately, the percentage of female Board Member has declined 9% since 2014. The result shows that there is a big gap between men and women in decision making positions in sports. Even some of the organisations have put a effort to promote women at leadership position, the progression has not been appeared in the result in sports environment.

It is important that more associations and organisations take serious attention to this gender gap and work together to close down this gap.

The survey was conducted by Ms. Aya Noguchi, Ms. Natasha Lemba, Ms. Chikondi Mvula and Ms. Maketo N’gombe. This work is generously funded by the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committees and Confederation of Sport (NIF), as part of our Every Body Matters II Programme.


2012 Leadership Survey: The survey was undertaken as a contribution to a global survey for the Sydney Score Board on the participation of women in sport leadership of national sports associations in Zambia. It has also helped inform NOWSPAR’s advocacy and awareness work.

About the Sydney Score Board:  The Sydney Score Board is a legacy project of the 5th World Conference on Women and sport held in Sydney May, 2010. The project monitors the representation of women in sport leadership in countries and acts as a source of data online:

Survey Process:The survey presented four questions to each association including, number of Executive Committee Members, number of those who were female, gender of Chairperson and gender of Chief Executive Officer or General Secretary. Associations participated voluntarily, 23 of the documented 43 National Associations in Zambia participated. A mix of large, small, popular and elite sports were included. Information was gathered through interviews with board presidents.

Survey Findings:

Female Participation on boards of 23 National Sport Associations in Zambia

National Board Representation

Actual Number

Total Number of Board Members (Males and Females)



Female Board Members



Female General Secretaries



Female Board Chairperson/president



Associations without female members



Associations with 50% or more females on the board



Average number of females on each board



Brief Analysis

Trend: The survey found that the percentage of female board members has slightly decreased since 2010. There has been a decrease in the number of  associations represented by 50% or more women and an increase of 12% of the associations without any female members.

National Board Representation 2010 (%) 2012 (%)
Female Board Members 25 19
Female General Secretaries 10 22
Female Board Chairpersons/Presidents 5 4
Associations without Female Board Members 10 22
Associations with 50% or more Females on the Board 25 9
Percentage of Females on each Board 10 9

Overall participation of women: It was found that women accounted for a total of 35 (19%) members out of the 189 board members across 23 organizations. There was one female board president who was found in the Netball Association of Zambia. This is due to netball developing over many years as a sport for women. 5 of the women in leadership were general secretaries. This is an improvement from 2010 when there was only 2 general secretaries. This suggests that women are moving up into positions of greater responsibility and authority.

  • decision making process
  • Promote revision of institutional constitutions and guidelines to ensure compliance to national gender sensitivity principles and goals
  • Capacity development of associations in gender mainstreaming
  • Encourage the government to allocate resources and the budget to organizations working towards reaching the 50% target of participation according to SADC and MDG targets

We would like to thank the Associations in charge of the following sports codes that participated in this survey:

Basketball, Baseball and Softball, Chess, Deaf, Martial Arts, Amateur Swimming, Table Tennis, Cycling, Rugby, Netball, Judo, Rowing and Canoeing, Squash, Body Building and Fitness, Cricket, Pool, Taekwondo, Tug of War, Volleyball, Football and Weightlifting.

NOWSPAR thanks the National Sports Council of Zambia for their co-operation in this survey  and our Interns Ms. Natasha Lemba of University of Zambia and Ms. Jess Howard of University of East Anglia.

The survey was generously funded by the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committees and Confederation of Sport (NIF), as part of our Every Body Matters Programme.

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