European & International News

27 countries in Sport for Development resolve to address gender-based violence in sport

[NOWSPAR, Port of Spain, 11 November 2011] The Next Step Conference 2011 ended with resolutions to adopt Principles on Gender Based Violence in Sport and to develop Standards, the second key resulution is to develop and share resources and tools to use sport to address Gender Based Violence with a commitment to report on actions and progress at the Next Step 2013 Conference.

This is a milestone in the campaign on Gender Based Violence spearheded by NOWSPAR, Nowergian Olympic Committe and Women Win, the Next Step Conference is a leading platform in the sport and development community convened every two years. This year the conference brought together over 150 delegates from 27 Countries around the world from Africa, America, Australia, Asia, Europe, Caribean and the Pacific with the theme: ’Sport and MDG8 Promoting Global Partnerships’.

The Next Step Conference Session on Gender raised the following key issues:

  1. The need to re-examine our interventions in promoting women’s engagement in sport as it does not necessarily result in deconstruction of gender stereotypes
  2. The need to acknowledge that Gender Based Violence, especially violence against women and girls, is prevalent within the sport for development sphere
  3. The need for the sport for development community to commit to addressing Gender Based Violence through policy measures within organisations and across the sector
  4. The need for the sport for development community to explore how sport can be used to contribute to addressing Gender Based Violence in general.

The Panel was comprised of NOWSPAR Founder and Executive Director Matilda Mwaba, General Secretary Lombe Mwambwa, Women Win Founder and President Astrid Afijes, Nowergian Olympic Committee representative Diane Huffman and Ms. Caitlin Fischer of Guererro’s Project.

The following resolutions were made for taking forward to participants’ organisations, countries and to collaborate around and report on at the Next Step Conference 2013:

  1. Adopt standards and guidelines of addressing Gender Based Violence within the sport for development sector
  2. Develop and share resources and tools to use sport to address Gender Based Violence in broader society

“Gender Based Violence occurs in many forms including physical, sexual and verbal, we can no longer afford to cast a blind eye or keep silent about it, action is imperative” said NOWSPAR Executive Director, Matilda Mwaba.

Mwaba said, working together with the Norwegian Olympic Committee and Women Win, a set of Guiding Principles has been compiled through a consultative process with various organisations in the sport and development sector around the world.

“We should explore the feasibility and practicality of using sport to address Gender Based Violence in broader society as our stakeholders and program targets have to face this challenge in their communities” Said Norman Brook of Coaching for Hope.

Other resolutions of the Next Step 2011 include action towards sustainability fo programs, measuring and documentation of effectivess of the sport for development approach, engagement of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, as well as diversity on sport for development including age, gender and origin.

NOWSPAR’s participation at the Next Step2011 was supported by the Nowergian Olympic Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF)

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