Former national team player Tsoseletso Magang wants more women in sports as participants and administrators as part of the campaign to address gender inequality.
Speaking at the monthly open discussions organized by the International Working Group on Women and Sports (IWG), Botswana, Magang said, “Gender inequality is keeping women around the world from contributing to their communities and economies in the fullest and most productive way in sports.”
A former national team triple and long jump athlete, Magang said there are several traits that hold women back from meaningfully participating in sports.
Among other things, she said women suffer from fear of the unknown and lack of confidence, thus relegating them to less visible volunteering roles and sometimes ceremonial or less valued positions in leadership.
She highlighted that women should be more intrinsic rather than extrinsic in value, saying men are naturally attracted by perks while women want association. She said as thus, a lot needs to be done to address the anomaly.
“We have to start with the girl child, empower them so well such that they question the inequalities and actually do something about it,” she added.
“Empowering them ignites and sparks the potential that these girls hold within, as such they will stand up against inequalities that they grow up seeing in the sport sector,” she continued.
For her part, the guest speaker at the discussions Tebelelo Seretse said her experiences from politics have shown that one of the downfalls of women is that they easily give up when they lose.
“In politics, we women give up when we lose elections, which is typical of women who stand for leadership positions everywhere,” said Seretse.
She said after losing elections, women should get up, brush off the dust and make the best out of the situation after losing elections instead of sitting in pity thus letting men rule them.
Seretse said women should not bow to the societal dictates that men are better leaders than women, but should acknowledge their inherent leadership skills.
“Leadership comes naturally to us as women. Take for example household chores and nurturing families, these are leadership roles, how then do men think we do not have them?” she asked rhetorically.
For his part, BNOC President Botsang Tshenyego said training or empowering women at grassroots level was critical and very important.
“Empowering young girls to speak up against men or policies that do not favor them can be helpful,” he explained.
He said as the BNOC, they have various administrative duties that they get women into, as well as programs aimed at empowering the girl child.