Lessons and Hopes for Women and Sport
November 4th 2016. ASK for Choice Strategist Nora Dooley presented our female empowerment program at the IWG Africa Women and Sport Conference.
Why did a white woman from the US go to the Africa Women and Sport Conference in Gaborone, Botswana?
Because our ASK for Choice program is much, much more than any one human being.
But I will not pretend representing something so massive and impactful – and potentially/hopefully revolutionary for the education of girls (and boys in the context of equality) – was easy.
ASK for Choice does not fit into any one box. I would even venture to say that it takes a different shape for every individual who engages with the ASK for Choice curriculum and methodology. But these wonderful, self-directed circumstances of our gender equity program make it quite challenging to present in a 10-minute space for a group of people that have hardly (if ever) come into contact with development through sport (rather than the more widely understood strands of S4D: ‘sport plus’ or ‘plus sport’).
So how do we tell the story of ASK for Choice? And how do we tell it in a way that will somehow allow the magic of it to reach the people who might benefit from engaging with ideas in the spaces that ASK for Choice creates?
I don’t know. But in Gaborone I took a shot. And I met and learned with incredible women (and some men sprinkled in) about their thoughts on the current reality for women in sport in Africa.
In two years the international community will have its turn in Gaborone. And here are my hopes:
– That those present are ready with ideas on the “how” while still engaging with the ever-important “what” and “why”.
– That we don’t forget that less than 1% of all people who play sport are professionals and focus our collective brainpower on the 99%-plus
– That we continue to challenge all sectors to join the conversation and take collaborative measures to move society towards equality
– That the women of ASK for Choice get an opportunity to contribute and share their triumphs