Gender testing in the spotlight

Women's 800m champion Caster Semenya is the target of IAAF's regulation.
Women's 800m champion Caster Semenya is the target of IAAF's regulation.
Image: Getty Images/Andy Astfalck

The SA Women and Sports Foundation (SAWASF) will this weekend host a two-day national advocacy conference in Pretoria, chairperson Muditambi Ravele announced yesterday.

The former chairperson of Boxing SA said the conference, which coincides with Women's Month celebrations, will address topics that affect women in sport. One such issue is the gender testing which has been a thorn in Caster Semenya's flesh since shooting to fame in 2009.

The IAAF recently passed a new regulation that compels women athletes who produce high levels of testosterone to lower it by using medication.

Ravele tore into it, warning that it should be stopped before it stifles athletes.

Ravele said the upcoming conference will also unpack the 7th International Working Group World Conference on Women and Sport Legacy which took place Botswana in May.

"Our vision is to ensure that not only the contributions sport can make to South African women are realised, but also that the contributions that South African women can make to sport are equally well-recognised and rewarded," said Ravele of the event set to take place at Hatfield on Saturday and Sunday.

"Delegates will be coming as far as Uganda, Nigeria, Congo, Botswana and Zambia. It is a great honour to host another conference after the IWG World Conference on Women and Sport.

"SAWASF chose to be part of global change by unpacking the legacy and begin planning for the next four years. Our conference will also be attended by the Women Sport

Africa Network, and we have invited some of the leading sportswomen with lots of expertise to lead in identified topics.

"The conference will shine the light on gender mainstreaming and address topics around media and communication, accountability and representation, research and gender testing."

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