The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Kago Ramokate has decried lack of attention given to gender in sport.
Officially opening a Gender and Sport Capacity Building workshop, organised by International Working Group on Women on Sport (IWG), Ramokate said gender in sport was as equally critical as all the other government priorities.
“The subject of gender particularly in sport is very important to keep at the tips of our fingers all the time in discussions surrounding sport,” he said.
He said he was happy that the gender machinery of the country and core team driving the gender mainstreaming exercise in sport met to engage captains of industry of sport on the on-going project that IWG in partnership with the gender and Sport Network launched in 2015.
Ramokate said a network was formed that later developed a roadmap that included among others, engagement and buy in of all sporting bodies in the country.
His ministry he said was a part of the network and important process and were key in making sure they got the Commonwealth Secretariat support.
“Amongst these we have provided support both technical and financial including becoming a part of the core team running the programme, assigning an officer to the programme to engage with the IWG and Commonwealth Secretariat,” he said.
The process, he said was of utmost importance as it would help them review current legislature guiding sport and mainstream gender in national sport policies.
Most importantly, he said the exercise would leave all stake holders with a guide that would help them to develop gender sensitive programmes and ensure that they were gender responsive in all their endeavours.
“The gender mainstreaming exercise aims to assist the very sport codes that we operate in. It is hence important that we ensure we are part of the process by taking part in today’s deliberations. The Commonwealth has come on board as a technical partner and has since appointed a lead consultant, Gender Links, to conduct the necessary foundational exercises to ensure we come up with an informed and relevant guideline,” he said.
IWG secretary, Game Mothibi said her organisation was a global advocacy network and therefore went outside the boarders to talk about women and sport issues.
She said their intention was to make sure that all their signatories’ policies were women friendly, and implement the Brighton plus Helsinki 2014 declaration on women and sport.
Mothibi said as IWG they fully promoted the uptake of Brighton plus Helsinki 2014 declaration in ensuring that all the international and national organisations were signatories to the declaration.
She said when they took over the hosting from Finland in 2014 they only had 419 signatories from all the six past hosts’ countries, adding that Botswana set herself a target of 200.