Women have been called upon to rise up and take their positions as leaders in sport. The call was made by various women, among them the Minister of Health and Wellness Dorcas Makgatho, during the International Working Group on Women in Sport second monthly open discussions last Wednesday.
The interactive session, which was hosted by Tsoseletso Magang in collaboration with International Working Group on Women in Sport (IWG) in Sport discussed issues and challenges of women in sport.
The seminar was part of the preparations for the IWG on Women and Sport which is scheduled for Botswana from the 17th to the 20th May next year.
Held under the theme “A woman in sport”, Magang continues to inspire women in sports to own up to their responsibilities, take action and be leaders. She said, “Women need confidence to lead, for they have the power to do so just that they don’t realize it.”
Tsoseletso highlighted that if a woman wants to be empowered, she should consider herself as a leader first before considering herself as a woman. She added that, “Women should not confine themselves into the woman space, for they will not attain anything from that.”
Magang said there was a problem of buoyant sexism.
She said, “Women who have made it to top positions need to maintain that and work very hard to prove they are where they are supposed to be. They also need to monitor and support those who are upcoming.”
For her part, Minister Makgatho, who was a guest speaker said having been mentored on her way tosuccess, she also seeks to do the same for young women leaders so as to get them empowered and recognized.
Women who attended the event talked of overcoming gender streaming, influence of culture in sports and sexuality in sports. Senior national netball team player Francinah Eyman said she was convinced women can rise to any position they set their eyes on.
“More women have to take employment opportunities in all areas of sport, including coaches, leaders, managers and sport journalists,” Eyman opined.
She further said all this can be done despite several embedded challenges in patriarchy and gender discrimination.
She went on to point out how women should be strategic in challenging gender imbalances in sports, lest they lose their positions, and went on to urge all sports stakeholders to uproot and facilitate women’s education for they are natural leaders of the nation.