A Joint Monitoring Framework Agreement will soon be signed between the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare and the European Union (EU) with the objective of tracking progress on the implementation of Mauritius-EU Gender Action Plan.
The announcement was made yesterday by the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, at the opening of a half-day workshop held in the context of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, commemorated on 25 November.
On this occasion, the Human Rights bracelet campaign which aims at raising awareness on the importance of protecting human rights was also launched.
The Vice-Prime Minister underlined that with the signing of the Joint Monitoring Framework Agreement, a number of performance indicators relating to the promotion of gender equality, elimination of gender-based violence and economic empowerment of women, will be more effectively monitored.
Eradicating violence against women and girls, she emphasised, is at the core of Vision 2030 adding that Government is determined to eliminate this social scourge through a number of initiatives, namely Women's Economic Empowerment, the Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy, the Integrated Support Service, and the Perpetrator Intervention programmes. Other measures comprise the setting up of a Domestic Violence Review Committee to take remedial actions to cases with minimal responses; creation of an Integrated Support Centre to provide rapid and coordinated assistance on a 24-hour basis and approaching employers to come up with training and employment opportunities for the victims of domestic violence.
Vice-Prime Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo underscored the importance of having a holistic approach to cases of domestic violence for which collective efforts are highly encouraged. She commended the EU's support in raising awareness and providing technical assistance in key areas such as capacity development for gender analysis and strengthening of national capacity; preparation of the Gender Equality Bill; and the revision and finalisation of the Children's Bill as well as the preparation of the Draft of the Adoption Bill.
Also present at the event, the Ambassador of the EU to Mauritius, Mrs Marjaana Sall, highlighted that violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread and devastating human rights violations. This violence, she emphasised, is a barrier to gender equality, women's and girls' rights and empowerment, and overall development, and an impediment to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
She pointed out that the EU is working in close collaboration with various stakeholders for advocacy and awareness of human rights and protection of rights of women and girls. To this end, the EU has set up a High Level Policy Dialogue on Gender with the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare to become part of the solution to prevent and end violence against women and girls, she added.
The workshop is a joint initiative of the EU and the National Human Rights Commission aiming at sensitising public officials, civil society and private sector on different issues linked to violence against women namely discrimination, domestic violence, and harassment. It was organised in the context of the EU's support to the United Nations' campaign on the elimination of violence against women (16 days of activism) which started on 25 November and will end on 10 December, marking the International Human Rights Day.