8 March 2017

Seychelles: International Women's Day - 'Reflect On Progress, Call for Change, Celebrate Courage'

Seychelles' President Danny Faure said that International Women's Day -- celebrated on Wednesday -- is a day to recognise women's positive roles and dedication to the island nation's families and communities.

International Women's Day commemorates women's success and achievements and provides an opportunity to take stock of the inequalities that still need to be addressed.

The Gender and Media Association of Seychelles, GEM Plus, sent a message to all women in Seychelles. "We take the opportunity to thank all women who are in senior and decision making positions, who are making good and serious decisions and also call on them to always push forward women issues and agenda," the message said.

GEM Plus added that: "Today is a day to reflect on progress, to call for change, to celebrate the courage and determination of the Seychellois women who make a difference every day."

Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands with a population of around 93,000 people, has a strong record in gender equality. It was ranked first in Africa for the gender sub-category in the 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, which rated 52 African countries.

A publication by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) reported that Seychelles has a 41 percent rate of women in management roles, much stronger than the IORA average.

While wishing all women a happy and blessed women's day, President Danny Faure in his message said, "We must however not be complacent or turn a blind eye to situations that are detrimental to the interests and rights of our women. We must continue to ensure that gender concerns are addressed at all levels and integrated in all our policies."

In spite of the achievements, certain gender related problems persist for women in Seychelles. Statistical data used in the national action plan for gender based violence 2010-2011 pointed to the growing phenomenon of gender-based violence as the number of cases from 2000 had doubled by 2005.

The Family Tribunal registered a 55 percent increase in the number of spousal violence cases between the years 2006 and 2009 and the majority were women at 92 percent.

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