WOMEN sports journalists in Africa have pledged to increase coverage of issues involving women and sports in a bid to promote them and bring about positive change.
The pledge was made at a two-day media seminar on Women and Sport for Africa held in Nairobi, Kenya early this week. It was jointly organized by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and hosted by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK).
The seminar which brought together 38 participants from 27 Anglophone and Francophone nations aimed at raising awareness on the importance of the media in achieving gender equality in and through sport and to acquaint them with the IOC policies and Olympic Values.
The IOC Director of International Cooperation and Development, Thomas Sithole, stressed on the need for the media to give women the required coverage in a bid to bring about positive changes. "With elections going on in various countries, we believe media will be the key partner to mobilize women to vie for various posts because, we believe that electing women brings about positive change in society," he said.
"The whole idea revolve around empowering women to not only participate in competitive sport but also in decision makings," he said. Participants acknowledged that the media has a major role to play in advocating for equal participation of women in sports.
There was consensus that women sports writers across Africa face the same challenges in accessing sports women and promoting their activities in the media. Patrice Cholley, Head of Youth Strategy Coordination at the IOC stressed the importance of developing the body, will and mind of the youth especially girls and young women.