The International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport last week held a consultation and capacity building workshop on gender mainstreaming and maximising the Contribution of Sport to advancing gender equality in Botswana. The objectives of the workshop was to increase knowledge and enhance understanding of gender mainstreaming in sport, promote the benefits of gender mainstreaming in sport, identify priorities, success stories, case studies, lessons learned, mechanisms and tools to advance gender equality in Botswana and identification of members of the drafting committee. The supporting organisations to the event were The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, IWG on Women and Sport, Botswana National Sports Commission, Gender Links and the Commonwealth Secretariat. One of the events that took place was a panel discussion with some representatives from the media fraternity where so many issues were raised with regard to the covering of women in sport and why newsrooms do not have many women even though it has been proven by a survey that women are the ones that attend more trainings in the field.
It was also revealed that there are more women on TV where they are visible but a few of them in print and the question asked was why that is the case. Beata Kasale said even though she is a woman publisher (The Voice), she has realised that men are the ones sources prefer to talk to than women. “I think sometimes it is because women like saying they need to seek permission, especially from their husbands while men don’t do that,” she said. In all this the media was challenged to validate its role by making sure that women athletes get the same coverage as male counterparts. Kasale said that is possible because after all it is the media that decides what they want to feed to the public and what news to them is. IWG Secretary General Game Mothibi said it is important that media does not distance themselves from the issues because they are also responsible citizens and should not always ask people what they are doing but should also look into how they can help.