WSI Executive Committee and Extended Board members are participating in the International Working Group on Women in Sport (IWG) conference in Botswana, May 17-20. WSI is offering a side event entitled, Making Sport Safer – Preventing Harassment and Abuse.

The purpose of this side event is to focus on a safe space for girls and women in sport through prevention and protection against harassment and abuse. The event will be chaired by Toni Bruce from New Zealand and Chris Shelton from the US, both members of WSI’s executive board. WSI’s first president Carole Oglesby and current president Stiliani Chroni will participate, together with three speakers representing WSI. Kari Fasting, with reference to the WSI position statement will give a brief summary of what is known about harassment and abuse based empirical research. Nada Knorre, will present how the Czech Sport are working with preventing harassment and abuse. Ensuring that measures are in place for major sport events, from tournaments to multi-sport games, is another aspect of this phenomenon that requires consideration and Diane Huffman will focus on such examples from southern Africa.

WSI was one of the first organizations, 20 years ago, to produce a position statement about sexual harassment and abuse in sports. At that time, this was a relatively new issue but since then more research has demonstrated the extent of the issues and guided the development of preventative measures. Therefore, WSI has recently updated its position statement.

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