ENACT presented at the IWG Conference

The 7th International Working Group (IWG) on Women and Sport Conference was held in Gaborone, Botswana, between May 17 and 20, 2018. Four years ago, Botswana was given the mandate to lead the activities of IWG, taking over from Helsinki, Finland. The mandate concluded with hosting of the IWG on Women and Sport Conference. We are proud that also EUSA was represented at the event and that the ENACT project was presented.

During the last 4-year period, Botswana hosted the IWG Secretariat as well as the office of the incoming Host Co-Chairperson. The main goal of the Secretariat was to implement the IWG strategy for the 2014-2018 cycle, driven by the strategy vision - a sustainable sporting culture based on gender equality that enables and values the full involvement of girls and women in every aspect of sport and physical activity.

2018 IWG Conference

The IWG World Conferences on Women and Sport are milestone events, which every four years focus global attention on specific goals and action steps aimed at offering men and women equal opportunities in the sport arena. The IWG is a critical link between representatives of international, regional and national organizations interested in women and sport issues, making the IWG World Conferences important opportunities for interaction and discussion.

Cultural programme

In 1994, the first World Conference on Women and Sport took place in Brighton (GBR) and the debut of the Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport. The IWG Conferences were held in 1998 in Windhoek (NAM), 2002 in Montreal (CAN), 2006 in Kumamoto (JPN), 2010 in Sydney, (AUT) and 2014 in Helsinki (FIN).

Gaborone 2018

The conference was hosted under the theme Determine the future, be part of the change. The conference featured 6 plenary sessions and side events that cover various issues under the following topical sub themes: BEING WELL to PLAY WELL, SAFE SPACE: Protecting Women in Sport, TELL THEIR STORY: Leveraging Media to Advocate for Women's Sport, WELCOME and EMPOWER ALL through SPORT, SPORT WITHOUT BORDERS: Cross-Cultural Collaboration, LET THEM LEAD: Changing the Leadership Landscape of Sports.

Keynote opening speech

The first day of the Conference started with the plenary session where former President of Finland, Ms Tarja Halonen, gave the keynote address. Other panellist included TAFISA Secretary General, Mr Baumann Wolfgang, UN Policies and Programmes, Social and Human Science Director, Ms Angela Melo and UN Women Regional Director, Ms Izeduwa Derex-Briggs. The programme continued with six parallel sessions and two side events. In the evening the Official Opening Ceremony, officiated by the President of Botswana, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi took place. After the official dinner and the welcome addresses from national and international authorities, the spectacular cultural performances concluded the day.


The following three days were packed with plenary and parallel sessions. The plenary sessions included prominent personalities form the world sport arena, among others Head of Sport for Development & Peace at Commonwealth Secretariat Mr Oliver Dudfield, FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Ms Sarai Bareman, Vice Chair of British Olympic Association Ms Annamarie Phelps, Honorary ENGSO President Ms Birgitta Kervinen, South Africa’s Athlete Ms Caster Semenya, Director of Gender and Women Empowerment-African Union Commission Ms Mahama Kaba Wheeler, President of International Paralympic Committee Mr Andrew Parsons, Former President & Founding Member of Women Sport International Ms Kari Fasting, European Commission’s Policy & Communication Officer Gender equality in Sport Ms Paola Ottonello, IWG Founding Member Ms Anita White and IWG Co-Chairs Ms Etsuko Ogasawara, Ms Johanne Adriansee, Ms Carole Oglesby and Ms Ruth Maphorisa.

EUSA representatives Ms Sara Rozman and Ms Anett Fodor

Ms Sara Rozman, EUSA Education and Development Manager and Ms Anett Fodor, EUSA ENACT project coordinator represented the European University Sports Association (EUSA) and its Institute at the event. Ms Fodor presented at one of the parallel session the project that EUSA is coordinating – Empowered Nation (ENACT).

ENACT presentation

EUSA is a signatory of the Brighton Declaration on Women and Sport, and is striving for raising gender equality in university sport in Europe.

EUSA Education and Development Manager Ms Sara Rozman

In the next quadrennial term 2018 – 2022, the IWG Secretariat will be hosted by New Zealand. For more information, please see www.iwg-gti.org.