Botswana will host the 7th International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) conference in Gaborone from the 17-20 May.
IWG is a network whose mandate is to increase the participation of women in sport, specifically identifying and addressing barriers to involvement.
The World Conference comes every four years and is a platform of reflection that gives the world of women and sports an opportunity to discuss issues affecting them.
There will be 192 presentations, with 78 percent of the speakers already confirming their attendance.
Among them are Ugandan chess player Phiona Mutesi and her coach, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, Commonwealth secretariat and TAFISA (The Association For International Sport for All).
Mutesi is currently based in America and will share the inspirational story of how sport has impacted her life.
Giving Voice Sport an update on the event, IWG Secretary General, Game Mothibi revealed preparations for the conference are at an advanced stage, adding that more than 1, 000 delegates from all over the world are expected to attend.
“We will discuss topics that will help map the way for women in sport with the aim of encouraging more women to take part in sport. One of our top priorities as IWG is to attract, protect and nurture girls and women in sports. The conference is expected to discuss improvement on sports in general and local sporting personalities will get a chance to interact and learn from seasoned athletes and administrators,” said Mothibi.
She explained that for the past four years, IWG have been promoting the Brighton Plus Helsinki Declaration, as part of their commitment to gender equality, which was signed at the 2014 World Conference in Finland.
According to Mothibi, IWG have been encouraging organisations – international, regional and local – to sign the declaration and commit to its principles.
She said they currently have 580 signatories and have set themselves a target of 200 more.
“We are hoping the remaining few organisations in Botswana will sign before the conference. We are happy that FIFA has agreed to sign, which is a big achievement for us because every year they have a conference on women in sport. They also hold a Women’s World Cup and celebrate international Women’s Day. They are practicing the principles in the declaration,” she declared happily.