This study looks at female representation on elective boards of National Sports Associations in Zimbabwe. The study compares the numbers to policies of international sports bodies and national government bodies regarding gender balance in decision-making positions.
This study examines gender composition profiles of boards of 43 National Sport Bodies (NSB) in Zimbabwe. It explores sport legislation and policies in relation to the promotion of gender equality and equity in Zimbabwe. Document analysis of NSB board profiles, constitutions, strategic plans and policies was conducted to ascertain gender composition, equality and equity issues. A gender scorecard matrix was developed to statistically compute the number of male and female representations in each NSB boards.
The results of the study indicated that out of 43 NSB, women constitute 37% of boards, whilst 63% of the NSB do not have women on their boards. Results showed that 12% of the NSB have CEOs in their boards. Notably, results showed that there is only one female board chairperson (1%) whilst 99% of board chairpersons are males. The results show underrepresentation of women in NSB in decision making positions and dominance of men in key sport leadership positions.
Analysis of strategic documents showed poor alignment of NSB constitution to international federations’ policies on gender, a lack of a national gender policy in sport, poor involvement of women in development of strategic documents, women unfriendly structures and environments within NSB, gender insensitive election processes, limited advocacy structures for women in NSB, and lack of research.