The Botswana National Sport Commision (BNSC) chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng was on Tuesday presented as the HeForShe Champion in Botswana at a function held at the National Stadium.
HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality to engage men and boys as advocates for gender equality and women’s rights. It is an International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) initiative. Botswana is home to the IWG until 2018.
When accepting his role, Reikeletseng said this is a major step in forming a legacy during the IWG’s four year stay in Botswana.
“We are looking forward to the hosting of the IWG which will combine with World Cup which will be hosted in 2016 here in Gaborone,” he said. “There is no platform that can make you feel accepted than sports. It is evident with cheers when you play or train and that can build someone’s confidence,” he said.
Reikeletseng said BNSC has invited the gender office to come and talk about gender-based violence after the realisation that sports men and women were involved in gender-based violence.
“Let me take this opportunity to extend my ambition to have a thousand of men pledging towards this movement by the end of the year and to assure the minister that sports will drive this to success,” he said.
The Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng, said: “It is critical that deliberate action is taken to reach out to the women folk to enable them to gain access to a sport sector that is gender neutral and allows for the full participation of women and men.”
The HeForShe movement has more than three thousand pledges in Botswana, Kenya and South Africa.