Women often have to double their efforts
to prove that they are capable of doing things that were traditionally meant for men.
When it comes to sport, this is no different. With August being Women’s Month,
PSM spoke to Minister of Sport and Recreation Tokozile Xasa, who says patriarchy remains a major issue in South Africa.
She said the support that women in sport get at the moment is nowhere near where it should be.
However, she acknowledged that there has been gradual improvement,
thanks to the 2011 Transformation Charter which seeks to provide equitable access and participation opportunities in all areas and at all levels of sport, irrespective of gender.
“We not only expect women to compete but also to be active in sport administration.
We want to see female coaches and female administrators in leadership positions
of the federations so that when decisions are made, women’s issues are taken into consideration,” the Minister said.
She added that it is important to promote sporting codes that are not big in South Africa,
like volleyball, while continuing to support those that have a big fan base.
Support for women The Minister is also concerned that sporting events that feature women only do not receive adequate media coverage.
This contributes to the lack of societal support for women in sport, she believes.
“For instance, Banyana Banyana has been doing very well but they do not get as much coverage as men’s soccer teams. Bafana Bafana is not doing that well but they always get coverage,” she noted.
The Minister said that while each sports federation is part of the department’s transformation programme, better monitoring is needed.
To address this, the department is developing a “women in sport” policy.
A team has been established by the department to work on completing a draft by December and the Minister hopes everything will be finalised
by the end of the current financial year so that implementation can start soon thereafter.
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