The Botswana Big Five: The IWG World Conference on Women and Sport launches its legacy
The URL has been copied
The URL has been copied
During the closing ceremony, conference organisers announced five strategic actions for the next four years.

Botswana is a world class safari destination. Among other spots, visitors flock to the country’s Okavango to view high concentrations of wildlife in this very large, swampy, inland delta. All wildlife watchers hope to spot the ‘Big Five’ – the buffalo, the lion, the rhino, the elephant and the leopard. And during the closing ceremony of the IWG Conference on Women and Sport, the local organising committee announced it will be the namesake of the event’s legacy programme.

International Working Group (IWG) progress reports on women and sport have been presented at each conference. They inspire the legacies, which look at strategic actions to be pursued between the events. This year’s conference in Gaborone was no different.

Drawing on that knowledge and experience, the Botswana Big Five will particularly focus on gender mainstreaming. It outlines five key priorities, each taking the name of one of the country’s most famous non-human inhabitants.

  1. Media (rhino): Cooperate with the media and use social media to both increase coverage of women’s sports and to portray women without using limiting stereotypes.
  2. Accountability (lion): Increase transparency regarding allocation of resources for women’s and men’s sports in order to ensure accountability and equality.
  3. Representation (leopard): Insist on equitable sport leadership roles for women at all levels in governing bodies, as coaches and in administrative and decision-making positions. Persistently pursue women’s sports participation and create targets for representation.
  4. Research to practice (buffalo): Build evidence-based policies and practices that drive equality, safety, violence-free environments and integrity in sport, including an emphasis on women’s rights to control their own bodies.
  5. Communication (elephant): Build on the current IWG digital platform to serve as a hub for women’s sports news, research, best practices and organisational progress while strategically pursuing additional signatories for the Brighton Plus Helsinki Declaration.
  • The full text of the Botswana Big Five will be published in the coming weeks – watch this space.


Senior Project Manager
International Platform on Sport and Development