The Star (Nairobi)

18 February 2013

Kenya: Kibaki Orders Probe Over Gender Discrimination in Sports

President Mwai Kibaki yesterday expressed concerns over apparent gender discrimination by sports authorities.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the Kenya Open, the President described the trend as infamous and promised to act on the vice accordingly. "I am very concerned to learn that some sports federations are attempting to block the participation of other stakeholders in the development of their respective games. In addition, I am concerned about the apparent gender discrimination in some of our sports organisations.

I urge the ministry and government agencies concerned to investigate these matters and resolve them as soon as possible," Kibaki said at the Karen Country Club, where he presided over the closing ceremony of the Barclays Kenya Open.

The President's sentiments follow an incident at Limuru Club where 3 women have resisted discrimination in the discipline and complained of being treated as second class citizens. President Kibaki also called upon all sports organisations to improve on the management style in line with the Sports Act.

"In order to improve on the management of sports in the country, the Sports Act 2012 was recently enacted. This legislation will provide the legal parameters within which different disciplines will be managed and regulated in Kenya," the President said.

Kibaki said he is delighted that golf is now a fully-fledged Olympic sport which will return to the Summer Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"Kenya Golf Union must work in partnership with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Ministry of Education to promote the game and put together a formidable team in preparation for the next Olympics. It is my wish to see Kenyans perform well in golf as they have been doing in other sports such as athletics, rugby and women's volleyball," the Head of State went on. Kibaki said it was commendable see Pro-Am attracting more over150 players--most of them Kenyans. "This is a good indicator of the game' growth in our country," he said.

In recognition of the important role which sports play in our lives, said President Kibaki, "My government has made physical education and sports in primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions mandatory. This policy has worked well for us. Indeed, we shall continue to pursue this policy in order to lay a firm foundation for the growth of the sports industry in our country."

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