Min­is­ter puts women in the game

Vuk'uzenzele - - Sport, Agretnser&aclulture - More Mat­shediso

GEN­DER EQUAL­ITY in South Africa’s sport­ing codes is gain­ing mo­men­tum.

This Women’s Month, the new Min­is­ter of Sport and Recre­ation Tokozile Xasa would like to see women com­ing into their own in the sports arena.

Min­is­ter Xasa is the first woman to be­come Min­is­ter of Sport and Recre­ation and said that while sportswomen do not get the sup­port they should, things are grad­u­ally im­prov­ing. This is partly thanks to the 2011 Trans­for­ma­tion Char­ter that seeks to pro­vide eq­ui­table ac­cess in all ar­eas and at all lev­els of sport to the ma­jor­ity of South Africans, ir­re­spec­tive of gen­der.

She added that that women rep­re­sen­ta­tion at board level had im­proved, with seven out of 19 fed­er­a­tions hav­ing re­ported fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the board­room.

She ex­plained that women need to take their right­ful place as com­peti­tors, coaches and ad­min­is­tra­tors.

“It is my in­ten­tion to en­sure that women who par­tic­i­pate in sport are given equal op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

The min­is­ter also men­tioned that women’s sports cov­er­age in the me­dia is poor and con­trib­utes to the lack of so­ci­etal sup­port for women in sport.

“For in­stance, Banyana Banyana have been do­ing very well but they do not get as much cov­er­age as male soc­cer teams,” she said, adding that she hope Team South Africa is well sup­ported in the Un­der 17 Women’s World Cup 2018 which is set to kick off on 13 Novem­ber and end on 1 De­cem­ber.

Min­is­ter Xasa said that a ‘Women in Sport’ pol­icy is be­ing de­vel­oped and the first draft should be ready by De­cem­ber. This is aimed at lev­el­ling the play­ing field for women in sport.

While se­ri­ous sportswomen de­serve the same op­por­tu­ni­ties as their male counterparts, Min­is­ter Xasa main­tains that every­one should par­tic­i­pate in a phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity to stay healthy.

Over and above de­vel­op­ing the ‘Women in Sport’ pol­icy, the min­is­ter said her depart­ment has plans to im­prove sport in­fra­struc­ture across the coun­try, es­pe­cially in ru­ral ar­eas.

“We will be rolling out 60 more fa­cil­i­ties in the 2018/19 fi­nan­cial year,” she said, ex­plain­ing that she hoped to se­cure di­rect fund­ing from the Mu­nic­i­pal In­fra­struc­ture Grant to en­sure that more money is chan­nelled into sports in­fra­struc­ture.

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