Hundreds of sportswomen have arrived in Gaborone for the 7th International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) Conference, which started at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) last night and ends on Sunday.
The Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Nonofo Molefhi officially opened the conference. Speaking to Mmegi Sport yesterday, IWG co-chairperson, Ruth Maphorisa said President Mokgweetsi Masisi could not perform the official opening as he was away in eSwatini on an official visit. She said as part of the build up to the conference, Women Sports Leadership Academy (WSLA) Botswana Chapter held training for women.
She said 27 women attended the training from Botswana and the total number of participants was 45. Maphorisa said other participants were from Japan, Uganda, Malawi, Pakistan and South Africa.
The intention of WSLA is to provide unique development opportunities for women leaders from around the world to step up, take the lead and make an impact.
“It is not only about leadership in sport but all aspects of life. Mascom Wireless and Debswana Mining Company sponsored the local participants. They have also registered to attend the
Maphorisa said they had an initial target of 300 participants from Botswana, but that shot up to 350 people registering for the conference. She said they expected 400 participants from Africa, but there was more interest from the continent.
“It was realised during the Africa IWG Conference in 2015 that the continent was lagging behind when it comes to issues of women in sport and gender balance,” Maphorisa said.
The conference is held under the theme ‘Determine The future. Be Part Of The Change’. The conference will feature six plenary sessions and side events that would cover various issues under various topical sub themes.
These topics include, being well to play well, safe space (protecting women in sport), tell their story (leveraging media to advocate for women’s sport), welcome and empower all through sport, sport without borders (cross-cultural collaboration) and let them lead (changing the leadership landscape of sport).