Need for gender justice from school level highlighted at a Women’s conference

Need for gender justice from school level highlighted at a Women’s conference

Director of the University of Johannesburg Olympic Studies Centre, Professor Cora Burnett Louw says gender justice in sport should be introduced from school level.

Speaking at a Women in Sport conference hosted by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on Tuesday, Professor Louw added that the needs of the girl child to excel in sport should be prioritized from as early as possible until they become professionals as this will help alleviate most challenges female athletes are faced with in the country.

“Even from primary school it's crucial because these big girls and boys are kind of physically equal by the age of 10, 11 or 12. They can compete, they can have fun but this way they learn how to behave towards a boy or towards a girl. I think that is crucial at schools but also to learn in terms of respect everyone. In the sports field girls should be celebrated for their prowess and their sport just as boys it could start in the primary school taking it up in another direction and different dynamics into secondary school and then actually university.”

Professor Burnett Louw says the sports fraternity in South Africa should give female athletes a platform where they are open to express themselves and unpack issues that are affecting them.

“Our policies are proper policies but still we struggle but also the woman has come even late to the table to say this is our time, make it visible, have that voice. But not open that voice to be heard but also get into their thinking, what can change, how can it change.”

The Director implored the media to take their meaningful place in society by raising and addressing issues that affect female athletes, and this can be done through telling human interest stories.

“I think if you look at the role of the media it can be very powerful because media is also the conscious of society so the stories could also be lessons and learnings to actually spearhead change and how people see women and to look at gender justice. So, I think media's got that challenge to bring that to the audiences.”

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