Rugby Africa Cup 2020 sets the first milestone for gender equality in rugby

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In celebration of International Women’s Day and its #EachForEqual initiative, Rugby Africa has announced that the women’s and men’s edition of the Rugby Africa Cup 2020 will be played at the same time on the same venue.

“This is a logical step to implement our vision for a gender-equal sport. We are dedicated to take leadership in women’s rugby and look forward to developing grass root sports as well as the flagship competitions towards a gender-equal game. In the next step we need to look at creating tournaments in the various regions to organically develop and grow team participation. Women in rugby are one of our key strategic priorities and in the week leading to International Woman’s Day we have celebrated achievements of women in African Rugby to put the enormous potential we have in the spotlight”, stated Khaled Babbou, Rugby Africa President.

While Rugby Africa demonstrates a strong commitment to gender equality, it is events like International Women’s Day that present an opportunity to bring greater attention to the fundamental issue of gender equality within the sports industry. Gender balance increases participation and is the foundation for sustainable development.

By breaking down barriers Rugby Africa can drive inclusive leadership and governance, build high-performance competitions and create an impactful profile to grow audience and investment. Indeed, accelerating progress toward parity could boost African economies by the equivalent of 10 percent of their collective GDP by 2025, new research from the McKinsey Global Institute finds.

World Rugby Women’s General Manager, Katie Sadleir said that Rugby Africa is at the forefront in accelerating the development of women in rugby within its region. “Since the launch of the global strategy for the development of women’s rugby, we have seen transformational change on and off the field of play worldwide. Women’s rugby continues to grow with more than 2.7 million women and girls playing rugby at all levels, accounting for more than a quarter of players globally,” she said.

“Rugby Africa plays a key role in the continued success of developing women in rugby. Off the field, the board of Rugby Africa has made fundamental changes that show its commitment in providing equal opportunities for women in rugby.  On the field, by aligning the Rugby Africa Cup to host men’s and women’s matches at the same time this will have a positive impact on raising the profile of the women’s 15s game in Africa.”