There are growing calls for more women representation in South African sports leadership.

In a recent interview with gsport, Acting Director-General of Sport and Recreation South Africa Sumayya Khan said that while strides have been made, more needs to be done.

“Fortunately, codes of sport are making constitutional changes and in line with international practice that will ensure that women take up leadership positions. 

“South Africa has made some strides as we note Women as Presidents, Vice President, CEOs of codes of Sport, but it is not optimal, and more needs to be done.”

Khan pointed to the Report of the Eminent Persons Group on Transformation, a strategic document that provided information on the status of transformation in 20 codes of Sport, which she terms a good barometer to assess the status of women’s representation within the boards of the sports federations.

Of the 20 codes assessed, the EPG found that only one of those codes has a woman president. Out of 37 CEOs, only 9% are women. Of 214 board members, women made up 20%.

Of the 4640 coaches in the federations audited 2850 (61%) were women. Of the 404 full time coaches, 32%, are women.

Of the 6269 referees/umpires active in the twenty sports codes audited, 3283 (52%) were reported to be women. Of Specialist Sport Medical and Scientific Support, 122 (51%) of the 251 practitioners were women.

Khan added that the Sports Ministry was keen to finalise the policy for Women and Sport, and to ensure Sports organisations amend their constitutions to ensure that women are elected in decision-making positions.