•Gender disparities in sports are skewed against female sportspersons in terms of remuneration, sports management, and resource mobilisation
•Sports CS Amina Mohamed says these issues will be discussed at the Agnes Tirop Conference on January 17-21
•The issues are part of the findings of a report by the Gender and Welfare in Sports committee
A report by a committee appointed in July last year by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed reveals that gender inequality is rampant in Kenyan sports.
Providing a snippet of the Gender and Welfare in Sports committee report, Amina said these disparities, majorly against female sportspersons, relate to issues, such as sports management, remuneration, media coverage, and funding of activities.
"They gave us their findings, which include well-detailed reports of gender-based discrimination against females in the sports industry. Among the issues highlighted include disparities in remuneration of male and female coaches, players, referees and in the composition of federations and technical benches," Amina said.
The CS bemoaned that the issue is wide-ranging across sports disciplines although certain federations have made efforts to reduce the gap between the two genders.
"Just a few days ago, we were dealing with a case where a female team was leaving and most of the technical bench were all male except one. It cuts across although the degree of the disparities differs. Some (federations) are really good and have made efforts to reduce these gaps," she said.
Amina expressed optimism that gender disparities —as well as other issues affecting sports — will be thoroughly thrashed out at the Agnes Tirop Conference slated for January 17-21 in Diani, Kwale.
The three-day conference has been named after the 2015 World Cross Country champion who was found murdered in October last year at her Iten home in Elgeyo Marakwet county.
It has been organised to discuss inclusivity, welfare, and dignity in Kenyan sports with a view to coming up with sustainable solutions to enable sportsmen and women to maximize on their potential.
"The conference will run under the theme, 'leveling the playing field.' Some of the topics to be tackled include women in leadership, sports as a tool to fight discrimination, sports, and mental health, and resource mobilization among others," Amina said.
She added: "This is not just another conference. We intend to come up with a clear roadmap for ensuring inclusivity and dignity in sports. We will develop a universal template for others to follow."
Amina was speaking at her office in Upperhill, Nairobi where she briefed the media on plans for the conference.
Expounding on the conference, the chair of the committee and four-time Boston Marathon champion Catherine Ndereba said they have taken great care to invite as many sportspersons as possible.
"The conference is cross cutting and caters to both genders rather than focusing solely on issues affecting females only. We have invited equal number of male and female sportspersons. For each federation, we invited a lady and a man because this is what we mean by gender balance," the former marathon world record holder said.
Also expected to grace the conference include governors, cabinet secretaries and international dignitaries, among others.