The Mercury

More women in SA Rugby Exco

- ASHFAK MOHAMED

THE SA Rugby Executive Council (Exco) will no longer be an “almost exclusivel­y male preserve” following amendments made to the governing body’s constituti­on to ensure that more females are represente­d.

SA Rugby held their annual general meeting on Tuesday, and made two constituti­onal amendments to boost women’s visibility in the sport.

The first will see at least three women serving on a 12-14 person Exco from 2021 to 2025, after which the number of Exco members of one gender will not exceed the number of members of the other gender by more than three.

In addition, each provincial union will have to have at least one female member among their three-person delegation that attends and votes at the General Council meetings.

The organisati­on has been criticised in the past, most notably by parliament’s sports portfolio committee chairperso­n Beauty Dlulane in 2016, when SA Rugby brought an all-male delegation to a meeting.

Later that year, the chief director: sport at Stellenbos­ch University, Ilhaam Groenewald, became the first female to be appointed to the Exco.

“This is a very significan­t and proud day for SA Rugby,” SA Rugby president Mark Alexander said in a statement yesterday.

“We have lagged in female representa­tion in our game at the highest level, and this is a major step forward. The highest decision-making body in our sport has been an almost exclusivel­y male preserve since it was establishe­d, and this change will ensure that those days are no more.

“With at least 14 women members among our General Council delegates, the prospect of having a female president of the South African Rugby Union at some point in the future comes much closer.”

The current voting members on the Exco are Mary-Anne Musekiwa and Mimi Tau, and an additional woman will be added as a third voting member.

Another female, Vanessa Noble, is part of the Exco as the company secretary, but does not have voting rights.

“Women’s rugby and its growth

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