15 May 2016 14:50pm
WINDHOEK , 15 MAY (NAMPA) - The president of the Namibia Women in Sport Association (Nawisa) Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana on Friday called on African women to promote netball in their communities.
Iivula-Ithana, who is Namibia's Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, also serves as president and chairperson of the executive committee of the African Women in Sport Association (Awisa).
While we witness netball being played in African schools, the sport seems to suffer at national and international level. Business people should support the establishment of womens sports clubs where girls and women will get the opportunity not only to participate in sport, but to also develop more female leaders in sport, she said.
The minister was addressing the AWISA congress and second general assembly held in the capital on Friday and Saturday.
Netball in Namibia is played at local and national level, with a national netball team in place.
The minister said more however needs to be done so that this sport code can be at the same level as football, rugby and athletics.
While we promote girls and women in sport, we should at all times mobilise for women empowerment in Africa, she said.
She said it is clear women face barriers in the quest to occupy positions of decision-making and management in public life, including sport.
We are equally aware that positions in sport governing bodies in Africa are often on a voluntary basis. Therefore for Awisa to attain its objectives of promoting gender equality in decision-making in sport, this calls for more dedication, sacrifices, creativity, transparency and accountability to take up such positions of authority.
Her advice to Awisa is to develop and maintain gender equality policies and ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed in stakeholder policies.
They must also develop training programmes aimed at raising gender awareness and commitment within the working environment also needs to be developed, according to Iivula-Ithana.
The association is also advised to establish a database of women in professional management in sport in order to measure their progress.
In Awisa, we participate in change, face the challenges of change, and in the process create strategies to deal with gender imbalances in Africa, she said.
Nawisa was introduced in May 1998 to promote women in sport in Namibia.
The headquarters of Awisa, which has 31 members, are in Windhoek.