International Olympic Committee (IOC) is committed to creating more opportunities for female athletes – Ben Nunoo Mensah

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is committed to creating more opportunities for female athletes by expanding Olympic programmes to include more women events, presidentof the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Prof Ben Nunoo-Mensah has disclosed.

According Prof Nunoo-Mensah, the number of females competing at the Olympic Games had increased significantly over the last thirty years stating that the last youth Olympics held in Buenos Aires for the first time has a “fully gender balanced Olympics.”

The GOC president said this on the Thursday at the inauguration of Women in Sports Commission in Accra.At the ceremony a seven –member committee was sworn into office with the aim of advising the GOC board and the president on the development and the implementation of policies to promote equal opportunities for girls and women.

The Committee include Ms Elizabeth Sarfoa King as Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson on a seven-member committee for Women’s Premier League, Rosalind Amoh, Deputy Director of Prisons (DDP), Patience Baffoe-Bonnie, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Dr) Mabel Aboah, President of Women Sports Association of Ghana (WOSPAG) Mrs Joyce Mahama, Executive Director of Women In Sports Association (WISA) Madam Gloria Commodore and Dr Harriet Amui.

He said it was projected that for Tokyo 2020, there would be a 48.8 per cent female participation while the Winter games in Beijing 2022 will have 45.44 per cent of female representation.

“Traditionally, women were not allowed to participate in the Olympic Games which was then exclusive for men only, but times have changed and the IOC now has a focused agenda to enhance women’s participation in sports,” he added.

The role of the committee, he said included development and implementation of women in sports strategy, advocacy for increased participation of women in Olympic programmes and in leadership positions, support local projects benefitting girls and women as well as skills development.

Prof Nunoo-Mensah stated that promoting gender equality required a good strategy thereby urging them to prioritise equality of opportunities at the grass roots level as a key foundation to increase participation of young girls and women in sports.

The Chairperson of the Commission, Ms King said it was beneficial for women to engage in sports stating that research has shown that sports has the tendency to boost women’s fertility.

She bemoaned the fact that remuneration for women in sports was low and there was the need look at it adding that “this has the tendency to make women lose interest in sports.”Ms King said womenin sports need to be given the needed recognition and not paid lip service adding that committee committed to ensuring that the course for women in sports would.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU

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