A validation workshop on the Gender Equality bill for which consultations kickstarted on 28 March 2018, was held this morning at the Gold Crest Hotel in Quatre-Bornes. The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, the Minister Counsellor to the European Union( EU) , Mrs Carla Osorio, were present at the event.

In her address Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus pointed out that women have undeniably made considerable progress in the society, however gender equality still remains a challenge. She deplored the persisting gender inequality gaps that prevail in the social, economic and political spheres as well as numerous inconsistencies and challenges with the current legislation.

The Minister recalled that the Gender Equality bill, based on local prevailing circumstances will provide further protection against gender-based discriminatory practices in various areas such as employment, education, health, family and marriage. The firm intent of Government in promoting gender equality is reflected in its adherence to various international commitments that aim to promote gender equality, such as attaining the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 agenda, she said.

According to Mrs Jadoo-Jaunbocus gender relations reinforced by the patriarchal society, have inhibited women from enjoying their rights on an equal footing with men, which is visible in many discriminatory practices that exclude them socially, economically and politically. On that note, she underpinned the necessity for the country to have gender equality legislation that will serve as a tool to bring real substantive actions to put an end to gender-based discriminations.

For her part the Minister Counsellor to the European Union ( EU) , Mrs Carla Osorio, highlighted that gender equality is one of the fundamental values of the EU and is committed to promote the belief among Member States. She underscored that through the drafting of the Gender Equality Bill, Mauritius has affirmed its belief in the shared values of gender equality and shown commitment in tackling gender inequality at all levels.

She further underlined that gender equality is not only a matter of social justice that makes the society richer and more secure but also a method of attaining development, peace and security. Advancing women leadership and economic empowerment is an absolute priority and is integral to a country achieving sustainable development, she said.

The proposed Gender Equality bill was drafted after wide consultations with stakeholders from Mauritius and Rodrigues and covers the following aspects: definition of gender and gender mainstreaming ; setting principles for gender equality for individuals, State and non-State actors ; provide special measures to accelerate the realisation of equality for women ; provide practical ways to integrate gender into everyday life ; provide means for enhancing women empowerment strategies to increase women in leadership and provide for a clear structure of implementation.

Source: Government of Mauritius