Lack of education on gender issues is the reason why we are losing women in sports – IWG SG
International Working Group On Women and Sport (IWG) are still of the view that not much is being done by some National Sports Associations (NSAs) in the country when it comes to addressing issues of gender in sport. Gender issues remain one of the biggest challenges in world sports. For the longest time, the involvement of women in sport has attracted divided interest, which has in most cases seen them on the receiving end of harsh treatment and abuse.
It is the establishment of international bodies such as IWG that have over the years advocated for equality for all in sports. Since 2014, Botswana has housed the IWG Secretariat as they prepare for the 2018 World Congress to be held in Gaborone in June. In the build up to the congress, IWG has conducted a number of workshops to raise awareness of gender matters in sport around the country.
However, they have since established that some sporting associations are still dragging their feet when it comes to such topics. “One of the challenges we have is that, when we have these kind of workshops, not all sports codes are represented. Our invitations are always across to all codes and we usually invite two people per code, but in the end they never turn up. What that basically means is they dragging their feet in addressing this issues,” said IWG Secretary General Game Mothibi in a recent interview with Gazette Sport, She adds that
“There is no sport code in this country which does not have a female, so how are you going to know the challenges and needs of those women if you are not going to learn the how part of it. Engaging in gender issues also goes into the welfare issues. I believe that we are failing to give proper care to our female athletes/players because we barely know their welfare issues. You find that usually when national teams go out for competitions, team manager is always a man, welfare manager also man, but the team having a composition of females. How are do they address instances where a female athlete is dealing with period pains and etc,” she continued.
Mothibi says lack of education on such matters is what makes the environment un-conducive for many female athletes. “As a result of lack of education on these topics, it obviously means they will never be able to learn and understand the needs and challenges of the girl child, and this is why we are losing women in sports, because the environment is not good for them. This is also very unfortunate because the BNSC have fully agreed on working with us as well as the BNOC, so for sports codes to be ignorant on gender issues means they are affecting the whole process,” concluded the SG.