IWG Closing Ceremony

The IWG World Conference on Women and Sport started on the 17th May and ended on the 20th May 2018 at the Gaborone International Convention Centre. The conference program was packed with rigorous panel discussions, seminar discussions and social activities. The closing ceremony did not disappoint attendants were not only entertained but left with a clear understanding of Botswana’s strategic plan moving forward. Mophato Dance Theatre opened the ceremony with a traditional infused performance, followed by Melodious gospel choir- a true depiction of Tswana culture and entertainment.

In her key note address, Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Hon Dorcus Makgatho-Malesu highlighted the role that Government has played in women and sports but encouraged the Private sector to play an even bigger role in providing sponsorships and support for events like this. “Government cannot do it on their own” she continued and applauded sponsors for their contribution towards making the conference a success. She expressed her excitement on her newly appointed role as Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs and the contribution she intends to make in advancing not only women but women in sports.

One of the presentations that stuck out during the closing ceremony was the IWG Botswana Big 5, the strategic actions that IWG Botswana will take on after the conference. The focus on these areas will ensure that the advancement of women in sports is achieved.

IWG BOTSWANA BIG 5 (Strategic Actions)

Media: Cooperate with media, and utilize social media, to both increase coverage of women’s sports and to portray women without limiting- stereotypes

Accountability: Increase transparency regarding resource allocation for women's and men's sports in order to insure accountability and women's equality

Representation: Insist on equitable sport leadership roles for women at all levels in governing bodies, as coaches, in administrative and decision-making positions. Persistently pursue women's sports participation and representational targets.

Research to Practice: Build evidence-based policies and practices that drive gender equality, safety, violence-free environments, and integrity in sport, including an emphasis on women's right to control their own bodies.

Communication: Build onto the IWG digital platform to serve as a hub for women's sports news, research, best practices and organizational progress and to strategically pursue additional signatories.

We look forward to the implementation of the above and wish the next hosts the best of luck! Congratulations are in order to the secretatriat and everyone that made the conference a success. This was yet another international event that proved the capabilities of Botswana and its people.