'Gender Equality and Social Inclusion are central to the development of the economy, environment, and society of Mauritius. So it follows that gender statistics - as the basis for making well-informed decisions and tracking progress towards gender equality - are central to our development'.
This statement was made by the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, this morning at the launching of a Validation Workshop on the review of the annual publication 'Statistics in Mauritius: A Gender Approach', at the Palms Hotel, in Quatre-Bornes.
On that occasion, certificates were handed over to some 20 participants in the context of a training of trainers programme for capacity-building on gender statistics (held on 5 and 6 April 2018). The capacity-building programme was facilitated by Statistical Consultant, Mrs Jessica Gardner, whose services have been made available by the European Union (EU) under the 11th EDF for the review exercise as well as the training.
In her address at the launching, Minister Jadoo-Jaunbocus pointed out that data and statistics on priority issues, including domestic violence, child development, health of the ageing population, and women's representation in leadership and political life, are already available but it is important to ask whether they are being used to maximum effect.
According to the Minister, it is important to take advantage of emerging technologies and methods, such as infographics, online tools, and social media, to transform the information into formats that are easy to understand and use so that it reaches the people who need it.
Moreover, Mrs Jadoo-Jaunbocus emphasised that strengthening the system of gender statistics requires sustained investment from across government to review and adjust the way records are kept and administrative data compiled so that it is gender-sensitive and consistent with international standards and classifications. It also requires partnering with NGOs who can provide the contextual information needed to understand and interpret the numbers as well as involves working together with universities and research institutes to identify areas for in-depth research and carrying out those studies, she indicated.
For her part, Minister Counsellor, the European Union (EU) Delegation to the Republic of Mauritius and the Seychelles, Mrs Carla Osorio said that equality between women and men is a founding value of the EU as well as a fundamental right. Gender statistics are the main tool available to identify inequalities between women and men and these statistics are key to develop gender policies but also and more importantly to implement these policies, she highlighted.
The Minister Counsellor also called to mind that the EU and the Government of Mauritius have embarked on a policy dialogue on gender in 2018 with the hosting of the first technical committee. One of the proposals of the policy dialogue was the use of smart indicators to monitor the situation on gender equality in Mauritius derived from the EU gender action plan which was well received, she stated. This is a testimony to the high level of commitment of the Government of Mauritius in tackling gender inequalities at all levels in Mauritius, she added.
Validation Workshop and expected outcomes
It is organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in collaboration with the EU Delegation to the Republic of Mauritius and the Seychelles. Mauritius is thus benefitting from EU technical assistance regarding the review of the various existing sources of statistics on gender. Focus is also on the need to improve the current situation for cases on violence against women and children.
One of the expected results following the technical assistance is the elaboration of a new system to improve data collection and reporting using general analysis including gender-based violence and violence against children. This new system is being presented at the Validation Workshop.
The Validation Workshop is focusing on suggested revisions to the annual publication 'Statistics in Mauritius: A Gender Approach' along with: a framework for continually improving gender statistics; identification of short, medium and long term priorities; and, recommendations for developing a national strategy for gender statistics.