The conference was organised by Sport and Recreation Commission and Bindura University National Sports Academy to discuss various issues pertaining to women’s participation and inclusion in sport.
Ministry of Sport and Recreation director sport promotion and development, Eugenia Chidhakwa, said this is just the beginning of more programmes of that kind to empower women in the field of sport.
“First of all I think this is going to be an annual thing, something that we need to cascade to the provinces and districts down to the ward.
“It’s not just going to be a talk show but we are going to be following up on all the participants who have been here to see what they have done for the associations. I think a case in point is how netball is doing, they have done very well.
“It is through these workshops that has made Leticia Chipandu who is president of the netball association to rise to the position that she has today, being a deputy president for Africa Netball.
“And this is what we want to do to have more women on board in sport and recreation so that we can make a change in sport,” said Chidhakwa.
With positive results coming from the field of play and more women participating as athletes Chidhakwa believes it’s high time they also see the numbers increasing in terms of women occupying leadership positions in sport.
Some of the major achievements by women include Zimbabwe’s first gold medal at the Olympics Games won by the women hockey team known as the Golden Girls in 1980, and swimming icon Kirsty Coventry claimed seven more medals at that level.
The Mighty Warriors had their own success story by becoming the first football team from this country to qualify for the Olympics.
Netball has also been doing well with the senior side winning the African Championships in 2015 and this year they walked away with bronze while the Under-21 competed at the World Youth Cup in Botswana for the first time this year.
Zimbabwe Olympic Committee chief executive Anna Mguni said creating opportunities for women will go a long way in closing some of the gaps.
“Well apart from cultural, societal issues where men are always leading, I think there are several issues. When I was doing my research one of the things I found out was women are frightened. And it’s also frightening for a women to step forward and say you know what I am frightened, those confidence levels, those simple little things. So we have to build on those issues of women’s capacity to lead being developed.
“We have to create, and I am an advocate for special temporary measures. Opportunities must be opened for women because unless we put those measures in place whether it’s dedicating resources, whether it’s a short term quota system, we have to put those measures in place to be able to get the women to step in, get a foothold.
“And, at least, we progress from there. So those are some of the issues I think are very critical,” said Mguni.
Director of the National Sports Academy, Titus Zvomuya, said men should also come on board for a paradigm shift that will see them appreciating and understanding that women are equally good.