Caster Semenya to lead equality conference

Caster Semenya says gender inequality stunts economic growth and development in general. She is scheduled to headline a gender equality indaba next month ./Alet Pretorius / Gallo Images
Caster Semenya says gender inequality stunts economic growth and development in general. She is scheduled to headline a gender equality indaba next month ./Alet Pretorius / Gallo Images

World champion and Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya is billed to headline a women's national conference on gender equality and human rights next month.

Semenya, who fell victim this year to the International Association of Athletics Federations new rules which forced female athletes competing in events ranging between 400m to a mile to reduce and maintain their testosterone levels to be eligible for competition, will take part in the Standard Bank Top Women's annual two-day conference.


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Last month, however, the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland rejected an urgent request by the IAAF to immediately reimpose the regulations on Semenya.

Scheduled for August 14 and 15 in Johannesburg, the conference is expected to feature SA's most accomplished businesswomen and thought leaders. It has the backing from United Nations Women and the Commission for Gender Equality.

Semenya said she was excited to be part of the conference.

"I am very thrilled to be a part of the Standard Bank Top Women Conference this year, standing up for the cause against gender inequality, which remains a major problem on local, national and global levels.

"Not only does it affect the lives of individual men and women, but the inequality between genders also stunts economic growth and hinders development.

"This is also something I have personally experienced even in the sports fraternity.

"It is our responsibility to get involved and make a difference in ensuring sustainable development that relies on ending discrimination toward women and providing equal opportunities for education, skills development and employment," said Semenya, who has won more than 18 international gold medals.

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