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Agnes Tirop conference will be to celebrate achievements made in advancing gender equity in sports, says CS Amina

ATHLETICS By Mike Kihaki | January 16th 2022 | 3 min read
Kenya's Agnes Jebet Tirop (R) competes in the Women's 10,000m final at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha on September 28, 2019. (AFP)

The stage is set for the Agnes Tirop Conference in honour of the late cross country champion at Diani Reef in Kwale County starting tomorrow{Monday}.

The conference will be used to celebrate achievements made in advancing gender equity in sports and discuss solutions to emerging societal barriers and challenges to ensure a safer and more inclusive sports sector.

The three-day event will play host to sports stakeholders from within and outside the country, top government officials, investigative agencies, the Judiciary, officials from international financial institutions and Non-governmental Organisations, to discuss the issue of gender equity and Gender-based Violence in the sports sector.

The theme of the conference, Levelling The Playing Field; Gender Inclusivity In Sports, will include plenary sessions and panel discussions on key thematic areas such as legal, policy, and institutional framework, women in leadership and sports, mental health, resource mobilisation, among others.

 In a press statement, CS for Sports, Culture and Heritage Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohamed said, the first agenda will be the launch of a Report on Gender Equity, drafted by the Committee on Gender Welfare and Equity in Sports.

Key issues highlighted in the report include disparities in remuneration between male coaches and female coaches, sportsmen and sportswomen, and male and female referees; gender imbalance in the composition of federations and technical bench of various national teams.

Sports CS Amb Amina Mohamed address the Press at Diani Reef Hotel, Kwale County, ahead of the Agnes Tirop Conference, on Sunday January 16, 2022. [Standard Sports]

She noted that rampant cases of sexual harassment and sexual abuse directed towards sportswomen by sports officials, technical bench, and sportsmen are some of the highlights in the report.

"We shall also have capacity building training for athletes and sports officials," said CS Amina.

The report also outlines key roles that different institutions have to play to curb cases of Gender-based Violence and ensure gender equity is realized.

They include Ministries, Departments, and State Agencies, the Office of the DPP, DCI, Office of the Attorney General, the Judiciary, Office of the Ombudsman among others.

Some of the recommendations highlighted include fairness in remuneration for sportsmen, referees, and team officials, regardless of their gender. The composition of federations; giving an opportunity to retired female coaches to mentor and train young female coaches; adequate budgetary support for female athletes; and action against perpetrators of Gender-based Violence are major highlights of the report.

The committee was set up by the CS in July last year, under the direction of. President Uhuru Kenyatta, following reported cases of sexual harassment and biased team selection in some of our national teams.

This CS further said the conference will be policy-driven and solution-oriented, and will grant an opportunity to develop a universal template that will be used to streamline the sports sector in Kenya and across the world.

Dr. Amina thanked the media has been on the forefront in exposing cases of GBV, corruption, and favouritism in the sports sector.

On the national teams, CS noted that the government is keen to ensure transparency is adhered to.

"As a Ministry we are keen to ensure that selections to national teams are done on merit and not favouritism, and that we field the best teams in regional, continental and international competitions," she said.

CS Amina emphasized that government will only fund a gender-balanced federation in its composition noting that her ministry will ensure there is transparency in the running of the federation.

"The money that government uses to fund federations comes from taxpayers, and therefore, we shall not sit back and watch as some federation officials mismanage these funds at the expense of patriotic national team players who then go for months without pay," she said.

The Agnes Tirop who was brutally murdered in a suspected case of Gender-based Violence at her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.


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