After successfully hosting the Africa Youth Games last year the international spotlight in the field of sports has once again been placed on Botswana as it prepares to host the IWG World Conference on Women and Sport in Gaborone in 2018.
Botswana chairs the International Working Group on Women and Sport from 2014 to 2018 and is organising the IWG World Conference on Women and Sport in Gaborone in 2018.
The IWG was established in 1994 at the first World Conference on Women and Sport held in Brighton, UK. The IWGS is an independent coordinating body consisting of representatives of key government and non-government organizations from different regions of the world. An IWGS World Conference on Women and Sport is held every four years. The first IWG World Conference on Women and Sport was held in Brighton in 1994.
According to the Secretary General of the IWG, Game Mothibi, this is a great opportunity to advance women sporting activities in the country and to give local athletes international exposure. According to Mothibi, Botswana will host the IWG World Conference on May 17th - 20th in 2018 but before then there is a lot to accomplish.
Botswana is hosting three components of the IWG which among others requires for it to be the secretariat. Before the scheduled 2018 conference Mothibi says team Botswana will do a lot of travelling around the world mobilising countries to be signatory to the IWG.
According to Mothibi, the conference targets 1200 attendants from across the world who will among others include researchers, athletes and administrators.
The plan, she says, is to make it as big and successful as possible. “We want to see big sports personalities coming to Botswana for this event. The William sisters (tennis superstars) are among those that we targeting,” she said.
The IWG’s mission is to empower women and advance sport at the same time. Some of its principles include ensuring that every effort is made by state and government to ensure that institutions and organisations responsible for sport and physical education activity comply with the equality provisions of the charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. The IWG also aims at developing participation in sports by women, provision of high performance sports for women by government and the development of policies and programmes to increase knowledge and understanding about women and sports and to ensure that research norms and standards are based on research on women and men.