The International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) secretary general, Game Mothibi says there is a great need for the formulation of a sexual harassment policy in sport. Mothibi said without this policy it becomes very difficult for the girl child in sport as they are not protected. She said this at the monthly open discussion organised by Tsoseletso Magang on Thursday. The discussion was themed: ‘Male involvement in addressing gender-based violence in and through sport. Mothibi said according to the Gender Based Violence Indicator study 67.2% of women have been abused. She said GBV is also there in sport, especially sexual abuse/harassment. According to her, sexual harassment is the reason why most women end up leaving sport and why female teams underperform. She, therefore, said sexual harassment needs to be addressed with utmost urgency. “It is disheartening that these women are abused by their coaches and officers who are supposed to be protecting them. Most of them end up not reporting these cases for fear of victimisation,” she said. Mothibi said though the cases happen; only a few are reported. To address this, she called for the formulation of sexual harassment policy as well as guidelines for team composition to allow for more women to take care of the female players. Furthermore she recommended that there should be intensified sex education to help address these problems.
HeForShe Botswana Champion Solly Reikeletseng concurred with Mothibi that indeed there is a needed for sexual harassment policy in sport. Reikeletseng, who is also the chairman of the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), said they are planning to push for the formulation of this policy as there has been no protection for the girl child. He, however, called on affiliates to stand up and rally behind it so that it can come to pass. Reikeletseng said for a long time women in sport have not been given equal opportunities as their male counterparts but have since proven that they are equally capable. “For a long time we have failed to drive with eagerness the aspirations of women as we have been doing to men,” he explained. He said the first world championship medal came courtesy of Amantle Montsho who is woman. To try and address the issue of GBV Desmond Lunga of Men and Boys for Gender Equality said resources should be put towards preventing it by working on capacitating the boy child on how to live with their female counterparts harmoniously. Lunga said teaching young boys how to live harmoniously could help reduce the GBV cases. He, however, said lack of funding is hindering his organisation to do enough on this matter. He therefore called for funding so that they can be able to do more.