Women have the important role of ensuring the smooth running of the family unit which constitutes an important pillar of the society. By ensuring the welfare of the family members and proper upbringing of their children who are the future generation, they are significantly contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands and Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, made this statement during the National Certificate Award ceremony 2018, held this morning, in Ebène. Certificates and prizes were handed over to 36 trainees who were dispensed MQA-recognised training by the Home Economics Unit of the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare and excelled in their examinations, while some other 400 trainees received a certificate of participation.
In her address, the Vice-Prime Minister highlighted that Government recognises and values the ongoing contribution of women since Mauritius attained independence in 1968 and dwelt on the social transformation that enabled their emancipation through major changes in the legal system.
Indeed, the Ministry advocates for the implementation of social policies that are geared towards further promoting and defending women's rights, working for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and promoting equality between men and women, she said. She underlined that the trainings being dispensed across all the Social Centers of the island are in line with Government's aim at ensuring women's equal and effective participation in the society.
The Vice-Prime Minister underpinned the importance of achieving gender equality so that women are given the same equal opportunities and life chances as men to succeed across all sectors of the society, adding that the political, economic and social empowerment of women will benefit the whole society. Moreover, she acknowledged the multiple competencies and capabilities of women in handling multiple roles and tasks and urged women to garner their confidence to pave their way towards financial stability and independence that will equally benefit themselves and their family.
According to her, one major global challenge that significantly hinders women's progress is domestic violence which is most often directed toward women, with female victims amounting to 90 %. Domestic violence, she said, is a serious threat for many women who are afflicted with physical, emotional and sexual harm that impacts on their personal, social and professional life.
On that score, she reiterated the determination of the Government to address the issue and dwelt on recent Governmental initiatives being spearheaded to this end. They include: reinforcement of law, enhanced protection to victims and recent strategies such as Men as Caring Partners Programme and the Perpetrators' Rehabilitation Programme, that seek to mobilise men to take an active stand for gender equality and against gender-based violence, and help to break the vicious cycle of violence by reforming their behavior.
Moreover, Vice-Prime Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo stressed on the imperative need of a change in mindset that dispels gender-biases and stereotypes for the creation of a gender-equal society. She spoke about the important contribution of parents as role models in inculcating fundamental values of gender equity to their children at an early stage to nurture a generation that advocates for gender-equality, adding that the empowerment of girls should start in the family itself.