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WASBO Chair decries gender discrimination in sports

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Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO) Chairperson, Matlho Kgosi, has complained of gender discrimination in Botswana sport noting that leadership positions are dominated by men.

Kgosi expressed her discontent at a recent WASBO media engagement and Sprint Couriers sponsorship unveiling.

Sprint Couriers sponsored to the tune of P10 000 the award that recognises an individual or a group that advances the objectives of WASBO.

The Chairperson said while the BNSC Act of 2014 and the BNOC constitution have gender neutral and gender inclusive clauses, they do not have clearly spelt out gender advocacy policies.

She said their objective is to increase the current level of participation by girls and women in sports. “Female coaches and managers underrate their capabilities in discharging managerial or coaching duties as compared to their male counterparts. According to Media Progress Study (GMMP) while sports stories are only second to economic stories in terms of coverage, women constitute a mere 13% of news sources in sports (compared to the overall average of 28% women sources in Botswana). I would like to thank Sprint Couriers for sponsoring our award which has been included for the first time in the Botswana Sport awards scheduled for next month,” said Kgosi.

One of the WASBO co-founders, Setshedi Botlhole-Mmopi, said though much has been done to improve sports overall, including participation of marginalised groups like women.

She said such noble efforts have unfortunately often been hijacked by other interests.

Botlhogile Mmopi said a lot of capable women tend to hold back and they need to be encourage to step forward.

The Dinaletsana Head Coach said there are many passionate and committed women out there who could benefit sports and that WASBO need to reach out to them.

“We need to capacitate them and ensure their readiness to lead. It is not easy to compete for leadership positions in sports or anywhere else for that matter. In fact it is tough and these women will need much more support to get their foot in the door. WASBO, let us please reach out to them and be intentional about it! Our society does not know much about women-dominated sports and the potential role of women in sports. It is my firm belief that if we educate and create awareness, we will gain a lot of traction,” said Mmopi.

Director of Sprint Couriers, Michelle Gabriel, commended WASBO for doing a great job in advocating for the increased role of women in sports and pledged to sponsor the award annually.

She said their company is owned by women hence they found it necessary to sponsor the award.

Gabriel said the award will go a long way in motivating female athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.

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