The key is to change our mindset and acknowledge the contribution of women in society, along with creating respectful relationships, which include equal partnership, starting with our own homes. Prejudices against women, lack of respect towards women, violence against women, and abuse of power to exploit women should stop and more people should come forward to denounce all forms of abuse against womenfolk.
This appeal was made this morning by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at the official celebration of the International Women's Day 2018 held at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles. The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development, and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, and other eminent personalities were present.
The Prime Minister underlined that since independence, a lot of progress has been made as regards women empowerment especially in the public sector. However, he highlighted, the private sector needs to be more sensitive to gender equality and appealed to them to adopt a more proactive attitude and eliminate barriers and discrimination towards women.
While acknowledging the progress accomplished in several sectors as regards women emancipation and empowerment, Mr Pravind Jugnauth condemned the fact that the biggest problem in society is violence against women. Domestic violence, violence at work and in public, and abuse against women, he emphasised, is still rampant despite the structures put in place, laws voted, and resources made available to address this issue.
Hence the need, he pointed out, to redouble efforts to sensitise the youth as well as men and women and to continue with the education reform which lays emphasis on a holistic education centred on human values, respect towards girls and women, and tolerance, solidarity and volunteering.
He also dwelt on several initiatives being taken in view of women empowerment. They include: launching of Gender Caucus in 2016 which reflects Government's political will for women empowerment and gender equality at the highest level of decision-making; consultations being undertaken in view of the Gender Equality Bill; the National Women's Council Bill which will be promulgated today; and review of the Gender Policy statement for the 16 departments falling under the Prime Minister's Office.
Mr Pravind Jugnauth concluded by reiterating Government's determination to address challenges so that the Mauritian woman is fully empowered and emancipated while adding that Mauritius should become a better example than what it already is on the global platform as regards rights of women.
For her part, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development, and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, pointed out that the celebration of Women's Day this year is special since it coincides with the celebration of the 50 years of the independence of Mauritius. She highlighted the progress accomplished by the Mauritian women since independence while adding that women consisted of an essential link in the socioeconomic development of the country.
She stated that the Government is working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 5-Achieve Gender Equality and empower all women and girls. She announced that a formal structure will soon be put in place for girl empowerment since girls need to become more independent and empowered.
Mrs Jadoo-Jaunbocus also spoke about gender budgeting, in line with the National Gender Policy Framework of 2008, which calls upon all Ministries to engender their respective policies, The Government, she recalled, introduced the Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiative in the fiscal year 2016/2017 on a pilot basis. An amount of (Rs 200, 000) was allocated to five Ministries.
She announced that several measures will be implemented this year in a bid to further empower women and girls so that they participate fully across all sectors and contribute to achieve sustainable development. They include: encouraging the academia to engage in the fight for women; special training on Gender Reporting for reporters; and engaging youth to create a network in school activities and to discuss on challenges for women.
On that occasion, the Africa Gender Development Index-Mauritius Report was launched as well as a handbook entitled 'Engendering the Private Sector: A Triple Win'. Shields were also handed over to participants of the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Award.
International Women's Day 2018
The global theme for International Women's Day 2018 is Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women's lives.
This year, International Women's Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women's rights, equality and justice. This has taken the form of global marches and campaigns on issues ranging from sexual harassment and femicide to equal pay and women's political representation.
Echoing the priority theme of the upcoming 62nd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, International Women's Day will also draw attention to the rights and activism of rural women, who make up over a quarter of the world population, and are being left behind in every measure of development.
The theme chosen by the ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development, and Family Welfare is '1968-2018: Le parcours de la femme mauricienne-Les defis A� relever'.
Source: Government of Mauritius