The recently launched Champion of the HeForShe for sport in Botswana Solly Reikeletseng says Botswana sport is showing some signs of improvement in having women at leadership positions. Reikeletseng said the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) now has a female vice chairperson after a long time. Reikeletseng, who is also the chairperson of BNSC, said this shows that strides are being made to give equal opportunities for women and men. As the HeForShe champion his role is to mobilise men in Botswana to stand in support for women equality in and outside the parameters of sport.
HeForShe is a campaign by the International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport in Botswana to advocate for gender equality in sport. As a result, the IWG has joined in the fight against gender-based violence against women and children. Reikeletseng, who has hit the ground running, has already held discussions with men about this issue.
Following these discussions he feels there is still a long way to go to address the issue of gender-based violence. He says it is clear that this kind of violence is there and many people do not talk about it even though it affects them. However, he is committed to stand against this and continue to mobilise other men to do the same.
IWG Botswana Secretary General Game Mothibi pointed out that females continue to experience gender-based violence in sport, especially sexual harassment. Mothibi said this continues to be a barrier for girls to participate in sport in the country. She said this is made possible by the fact that there is no sexual harassment policy in sport in Botswana.
With the appointment of Reikeletseng as the HeForShe campaign it is expected that such issues be tackled very soon. Since his launch as champion last week, 1344 men have registered for this commitment of standing against gender based violence.
“I know many wonder what next, they sign and then what? Let me take this chance to say this is not just a verbal commitment but a commitment to support women and girls in the fight against gender-based violence and discrimination,” said Reikeletseng. He went on to say they are targeting 20 000 men to have signed for this cause by the end of 2016.