Gaborone — Botswana National Sport Commission vice chairperson Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego says the establishment of Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO) was a step in the right direction.
Speaking at the monthly Open discussion with Tsosi event on Wednesday, Lebotse-Sebego also said hosting and supporting programmes such as International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport, He4She as well as setting up the equity and recreation committee had all been acting as building blocks.
She said the impact of some of the initiatives had seen more women in sport leadership positions than at any point in the past; the introduction of age-based female teams at national sport associations and out performance of male teams by female teams, in many instances.
She, however, said despite some achievements, they were still witnessing challenges that included slowness of policy development and implementation.
Lebotse-Sebego said going forward, some of the issues that needed to be considered included quotas, mentorship and scholarships, targeting primarily women.
“As the BNSC we would like to see gender equity structured more holistically and not be too dependent on structures like WASBO,” she said.
She said WASBO needed to be elevated to a governance structure that could audit the BNSC, the BNOC and in fact, sports in its entirety, on their delivery on the obligations the country has, to ensure gender equity and equality in sports.
Lebotse-Sebego said she was convinced that the current BNSC board, with three women, had the calibre of men and women who could drive such.
“We recently gave the sexual harassment policy the green light and are keen to get the resolutions from the Women Sports Pitso implemented,” she said.
Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) president, Tshepo Bathai said he was doing a lot in ensuring that the association achieved gender equality, both as a leader and as an individual.
He said as the BOKA president and taking advantage of how influential the position was, he managed to request members to remove all stumblingblocks and change many policies that were not favourable to females.
“We never had any woman serving in the substructures; right now we have referees commission member, Nshingi Mosalagae, who is an Africa qualified referee, development commission chairperson, Goitseone Mongologa, women’s commission made up of only female, chairperson: Suggie Baleseng, who is also national safeguarding officer, dealing directly with World Karate Federation, technical commission member, Eileen Alberts Athletes Commission, Thabang Maleke and Lesedi Seisa,” he said.
Bathai said they were getting support from different sporting stakeholders such as WASBO, BNSC, BNOC and karate international federation, especially on training women.
He, however, said it was imperative that the same stakeholders engage more men in their discussions, so as to benefit the organisation.
BNSC, he said, was assisting them in terms of regulations and policy guidelines, adding that it was imperative that they looked at mechanisms that would help them to implement gender equity.
Bathai said there were many women engaged at BOKA now, adding that they had also implemented safe sport policy to ensure that their environment was free from harassment and abuse, as that would make women more comfortable to work with karate.
The event was held under the theme: Men Advancing Gender Equality in Botswana sport.
Source : BOPA