Botswana is aggressively lobbying for equal opportunities for women in both the administration of sport and within the field of play. These sentiments were shared by International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) Resource Mobilisation Manager, Changu Siwawa, in an interview with this publication.
Botswana has been given the opportunity to host the 2018 IWG conference and currently, preparations are underway for the big event. Siwawa said as the hosts, they want Botswana to benefit immensely from the 2018 conference and they expect the conference to leave a positive legacy for women in sport. “We want to have as many training opportunities for women so that by the year 2018, we will have more qualified women in positions of sport administration,” Siwawa.
She further said IWG encourages women’s participation in sport and requires a conducive environment for women’s involvement in sports. Since the Secretariat was established to prepare for the prestigious IWG event, officials have been travelling the length and breadth of the country creating awareness of the role of IWG and advocating for equal opportunities. “We want to see all sporting bodies in the country meeting the woman quota in management positions. We will also want to influence policy formulation to stop discriminating against woman involvement in sport,” Siwawa.
Boitumelo Kenosi, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, shared the same sentiments with her colleague stating that by the times the conferences kicks off, they would want to have built confidence among women to see themselves as equal to men. Kenosi said the more women participate in sport, the more it will help them maintain good healthy leaving. “We want to break all barriers that have been stopping women to participate in sport in more numbers,” Kenosi.
On the readiness to host the 2018 IWG conference, Siwawa said though IWG wants to host a memorable event, they need all possible assistance to achieve this. The IWG local secretariat is thus appealing to companies to come forward and sponsor the event so that it can be a success. Siwawa is of the view that by sponsoring the 2018 conference, companies will be contributing towards encouraging girl child participation in sport.
Siwawa further said they have a long way to go in terms of mentoring the locals to have confidence in presenting during the conference. She observed that in the recent national conference, presenters lacked confidence in presentation skills. “We are working around the clock to come up with themes because we want more locals to take centre stage,” Siwawa said.