THE new Rugby Africa Women’s Advisory Committee (WAC), which was elected at the Rugby Africa Exco meeting at the end of August, has scaled up gender inclusion for equity on and off the field of play.
WAC, which is chaired by Rugby Africa executive committee member Paula Lanco from Kenya, has a governance and leadership purpose to advise all Rugby Africa Committees on positive gender inclusion practices with a focus on women’s rugby.
In line with Rugby Africa’s strategic plan and the broader World Rugby commitments, the Committee’s role is to identify clear and measurable key objectives to demonstrate progress of the development of women in rugby at all levels.
According to Rugby Africa, these include leadership representation, competitions as well as player welfare, development, and retention.
The initiative is reportedly in line with World Rugby’s strategy to accelerate the global development of women in rugby 2017 to 2025 where women involved in rugby have equity on and off the field, are reflected in all strategy, plans and structures, making highly valued contributions to participation, performance, leadership and investment in the global game of rugby.
“Women’s participation is our growing area with the biggest potential, because rugby is a progressive, modern, attractive, dynamic and most of all an inclusive sport played across the continent.
“The promotion and positioning of women in rugby at all levels will result in significantly increased involvement and interest from fans, players and ultimately investors. Therefore, we aim at growing the sport with a focus on development pathways for women and girls, working with key stakeholders from relevant committees. Key research projects will help us identify how to improve gender inclusion strategies within our member unions,” said Lanco.
President of Rugby Africa, Khaled Babbou is of the view their coming up with WAC would come in handy in their tireless efforts to be all-encompassing.
“With the WAC we have set the institutional basis to scale up our efforts to be gender inclusive and meet our strategic goals for women in rugby where we aim at a minimum representation of 30 percent of women in leadership roles and where 40 percent of the registered players on the continent will be women by 2025.”
Andrew Owor, vice-president of Rugby Africa added: “We also aim at having four African teams in the World Rugby top 30 ranking, two teams in the women’s rugby World Cup and in the world series.”
The WAC will be administered by Rugby Africa’s Women’s Rugby Manager Maha Zaoui and has appointed its first member with Rolande Boro, Rugby Africa Executive Committee Member, World Rugby Council Member and President of the Burkina Faso Rugby Union. A respective call for interest has been initiated through the Africa Women Rugby Network and by the end of this month the six Committee members are expected to be appointed.