Gaborone — As Botswana will be hosting the 7th International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sports conference next year, the country will have something to brag about.
This comes after three women managed to grab seats in the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) board over the weekend.
The race for positions in the BNOC board featured nine women vying for different posts.
Over the weekend, Bernadette Moruti managed to win a fierce battle against Tshiamo Rantao and Anastacia Makwa for the position of second vice president.
Yarona Sharp and Tebo Segaise added to women representation in the board after they were elected additional members.
It was during the campaign that women and sport issues managed to spark fierce debates after Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego presented a lobby list comprising only women candidates.
Some commentators were of the view that the lobby list was a step in the right direction for women and sport issues as they owned newspapers back pages.
According to IWG secretary general, Game Mothibi, the nine women also started a topic that seemed difficult to engage in, women and sport.
Mothibi said they had a target of at least 40 per cent representation of women in BNOC board, which she said applied to all other sport agents and affiliates in the country.
"We want to appeal to sport codes to consider that, including considering affirmative action. A lot of women in sport have what it takes to run sport and I believe wherever they are lacking structures do have trainings in place to assist them. You will agree with me that we even have men who are struggling in their positions and also need such trainings," she said.
Further, Mothibi said she was happy that they managed to achieve 42.8 per cent against their target of 40 per cent.
"I wish to applaud sport administrators for looking beyond privileges and voting on capabilities. Of course there is room for improvement but for now we applaud the results. I wish the new BNOC board the best of luck and fruitful deliberations and actions during their tenure. A lot of them highlighted the need to increase women participation, they discussed women and sport during their campaign. Now it's time to transfer that to action," she said.
She indicated that campaigns ahead of the elections changed the landscape of Botswana sport, given that the interest was high with 22 contestants, a first for the BNOC.
Again, she said the most interesting thing was the fact that there was no unopposed position with each having more than there contenders.
"Without doubt, it was a great milestone for sport, and the campaign was also heightened, with contestants and camps approaching sporting codes, sharing their manifestos, utilising media which in turn provided a learning and informative platform for Batswana to appreciate BNOC more."
She added that again for the first time, women managed to contest for high decision making positions of presidency and for senior vice presidency.
"I have never seen Botswana sport alive to women and sport issues like it was during this campaign. I'm happy that we had women ready to stand and to sacrifice for the future of sport. Issues of women in sport were brought to the table and were discussed," she said.
Women, she said challenged the status quo and made everyone campaigning to address issues concerning women in sport.
Source : BOPA