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GBV Stands Out In Sport

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Speakers at the Women In Sport Pitso acknowledged the existence Gender Based Violence in sport PIC: OEMELENNA THOMAS
Gender Based Violence (GBV) continues to rear up like a sore thumb in the society as the scourge has not spared sport either. 

The gravity of the problem was revealed by Women and Sport Botswana (WASBO) chairperson, Matlho Kgosi while speaking during the Women in Sport Pitso that ended yesterday.  She said something that was not often talked about was the prevalence of GBV in sport. Kgosi said GBV existed in sport and it was something they needed to act on as an organisation.

Giving a keynote address, Botswana National Sport Commission  (BNSC) board chairperson, Marumo Morule said the 2020 Women In Sport Pitso is being held at another critical point in time where issues regarding progress and safety of women and girls were once again at the forefront in all spheres.

“As sport we also appreciate that our sector plays an important role in this regard and in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals SDG 5 of the Agenda 2030, which states the need to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” he said, adding that  as BNSC, they were also cognisant of the requirements of safe sport.

“Milestones have been made in sport the world over, and much closer, here at home in Botswana, as evidenced by the formation of WASBO in 1997, hosting of the IWG conference in 2018, the signing of IWG declarations by National Sport Associations, the success of female athletes by qualifying for Tokyo 2020, Mentorship for Athletes, Capacitating Women in Sport, as well as several other initiatives that are aimed at increasing participation

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of women and the girl child in sport,” he said.

Morule said simultaneously, they still have a lot of work to do to achieve equality and safeguarding in sport. The 2020 Women in Sport Pitso was therefore being hosted under an action-oriented theme of “Elevating Women and the Girl Child Participation in Sport through Inclusive Policies”. Morule said the society should deal with stereotypes such as ga di etelelwe ke manamagadi pele.  “I do not think this Setswana idiom (which translate literally to ‘women have no place in leadership’) means that women are not capable to lead because we have many women who are capable to lead,” Morule said.  For her part, IWG co-chairperson, Ruth Maphorisa said there is need to acknowledge the bravery of women, mmangwana o tshwara thipa ka fa bogaleng (true mothers can hold knife at its sharp end).  “Even in terms of community building, we acknowledge the role played by women, mosadi thari ya sechaba (woman is nation’s backbone),” she said.  Meanwhile, Maphorisa said women were likely to suffer more due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said women were already vulnerable hence being the first to suffer more. She said as much as sport iwas regarded as a way to a healthy lifestyle, now it was a way the coronavirus was spread.  “Sponsors are likely to pull out of women sport, which depends on government resources,” Maphorisa said, expressing her angst.



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