A four-day workshop on Capacity Building on Gender Mainstreaming in the Civil Service opened yesterday at the seat of the National Empowerment Foundation in Port Louis in presence of the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, Mr Eddy Boissézon, and other personalities.
The workshop which is an initiative of the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Civil Service College, Mauritius, has as focal point, social inclusiveness and democratic governance.The objectives of the workshop are to impart practical gender mainstreaming skills in terms of how to conduct gender analysis, implement Gender Responsive Budgeting, conduct gender impact assessments and provide regional and international examples on existing initiatives on how to engender the civil service.
During the workshop, participants will be provided technical skills on how to practically engender policies and programmes as well as formulate gender sensitive indicators aligned to the 2018-2019 Budget programmes. Participants will also be assisted in the formulation of an action plan based on gaps identified within their programmes and equipping participants with skills on how to engender the Performance Management System.
In his address, Minister Boissézon highlighted that gender equality is an issue of development effectiveness, and not just a matter of political correctness or kindness to women. New evidence, he underlined demonstrates that when women and men are relatively equal, economies tend to grow faster, and the well-being of men, women and children is enhanced. Government is committed to ensure that there is no discrimination or discrepancies based on gender in the Civil Service by promoting the principles of gender equality through gender mainstreaming at all levels, he said.
Furthermore, he pointed out that gender mainstreaming ensures that policy-making and legislative work is of higher quality and has a greater relevance for society, as it makes policies respond more effectively to the needs of all citizens. The workshop, Mr Boissézon indicated will help to analyse the existing situation, with the purpose of identifying inequalities, and developing policies to redress these inequalities. It will also provide the appropriate tools for officers to lay down systematic approaches and get the technical capacity to mainstream gender as part of the implementation of respective sectoral gender policies of line ministries, he added.
The Minister recalled that statistics were collected following a gender audit made by the Mauritius National Assembly, Parliamentary Gender Caucus, with the support of UNDP, in April 2018 and that the overall average percentage of gender mainstreaming in the public sector is 56%.According to the report, the main factors hampering gender mainstreaming initiatives were the lack of technical capacity of officers to carry out gender mainstreaming, the implementation of gender responsive budgeting as well as the formulation of gender sensitive indicators.
Mr Boissézon listed out the recommendations, namely: enhance the capacity of Gender Focal Points; carry out gender sensitive analysis, gender impact assessment, and formulate gender sensitive indicators; and engender the Code of Ethics of the Civil Service and the PerformanceManagement System (PMS), including gender budgeting within the whole policy cycle. On this score, he pointed out that his Ministry is leaving no stone unturned to apply the recommendations of the gender audit exercise.
Furthermore, the Minister highlighted that his Ministry is seeking to enhance the in-house technical capacity of Gender Focal Points by making the members of the Gender Cell and Officers of the Human Resources (HR) to carry out gender sensitive analysis, gender impact assessment and formulate gender sensitive indicators, and also by extending the capacity building programme to representatives of all HR of sectoral ministries.