New Rugby Africa Women’s Advisory Committee scales up gender inclusion
Focus areas of the Committee are governance and leadership, competitions, player welfare, development and retention to meet strategic goals for women’s rugby on the continent
The newly created Women’s Advisory Committee (WAC) 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 KPI’s to demonstrate progress of the development of women in rugby at all levels. This includes leadership representation, competitions (Regional, Sub-regional, etc.) as well as player welfare, development, and retention.
The WAC was duly approved at the RA EXCO meeting held on 27 August and is chaired by Rugby Africa Executive Committee Member Paula Lanco from Kenya: “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.”
Khaled Babbou, President of Rugby Africa states: “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% of women in leadership roles and where 40% 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 administrated 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 shall be appointed. The first WAC Meeting will be held in October.
This initiative is on line with World Rugby’s strategy to accelerate the global development of women in rugby 2017-25 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.