Women must earn a place in sports not favours – Watta

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Madam Evelyn Watta – Vice President of International Sports Press Association (AIPS), has said women must work hard to break into leadership in sports journalism and administration.

Madam Watta – who was once CNN African Sports Journalist of the Year said, “ we must not expect a table to be prepared for us to break into leadership, but rather we must exhibit what we are capable of doing to merit a place among the best”.

She said this during a panel discussion at the 83rd AIPS Congress in Budapest, Hungary, on the topic “Empowering women in sports journalism”.

“We must not accept favours, but rather demonstrate our professional acceptance and earn a place by working hard,” she stated.

Madam Watta said, “many women have been in the background for too long and we must begin to demonstrate what we have, what we can do to be accepted but not to have tables laid for us”.

She commended the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for making efforts to balance the field.

“FIFA and IOC are getting it right in the field but creating opportunities for women, but what is left is to break into leadership,” she added.

Madam Watta noted that, the involvement of women must not also be based on the fact they were women, but must be of high quality to earn a place in leadership.

Touching on social pressure and family life, Madam Watta said women have over the years undergone intense pressure with regards to childbirth, family life and management.

She said many female sports journalists with the needed quality to excel have fallen off due to family and societal pressures.

She reiterated that there was the need to ensure fair balance in the entire process of management.

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