A report entitled "Promoting Female Participation in the Economy", having as objective to instigate action to promote female participation in the economy, which is instrumental to enhancing productivity, growth and competitiveness and attaining the vision of becoming a high-income country by Government, was launched by the National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NPCC) on 07 March 2018.
The report highlights salient features about the current situation, global best practices and presents strategies as well as an action plan to improve the participation of women in the economy. Moreover, it examines different elements that impede female participation in the Mauritian economy, for instance, cultural barriers and provides an overview of the presence of women in different areas including education, politics and society.
The issue of female participation in the economy is currently of both national and global interest. It is a fact that in most countries, including Mauritius, female unemployment is rampant leading to an under-utilisation of human resources, thereby impacting on productivity and growth. For instance, women outnumbered men in the unemployment population during the first quarter of 2017. The 44,300 unemployed people in Mauritius counted more females (26,600) against males (17,700) during that period.
The Chairman of the NPCC, Mr. Sanjiv Mulloo, highlighted that Government is committed to transform the economy into a high income country by 2023, with an income per capita of around USD 13,600 against the current level of USD 9,740. According to him, a number of factors weigh on longer-term growth prospects and competitiveness, including amongst others structural headwinds to global trade, slowing productivity growth, governance and institutional challenges and the feeble participation of women in the economy.
The NPCC commissioned the study with the objectives to contribute to the on-going debate and research on promoting female participation in the economy at the global, regional and national levels. It also aims at triggering thinking about this pertinent issue and engaging citizens in the debates, discussions and consultations to contribute to the process of formulating evidence-based and participative policies and strategies.
An action-planning workshop involving key stakeholders from the public and private sector, academia, non-governmental and civil society organisations and development partners was carried out to define key strategies and actions to promote female participation in the economy. Actions are centred on the following five drivers: tackling norms and promoting positive models; recognising, reducing and redistributing unpaid work and care; Government policy frameworks; building assets education and entrepreneurship, and changing business culture and practices.