New measures and policies have to be worked out at this pre-budgetary stage so as to continue empowering women and encourage a gender inclusive society. The Gender Equality Bill which is currently being prepared with the assistance of the European Union, will serve as a fundamental legislation for ensuring the rightful place of women.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, made this statement today at Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel in Port-Louis during a press conference focusing on the celebration at national level of International Women's Day 2019.
A national gathering, announced the Vice-Prime Minister, will be held on Friday 8 March 2019 at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre, in Pailles, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, and other personalities.
The theme chosen for this year's celebration is "Egalite zom-fam koumans par mwa". It is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 5 which relates to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls.
The Vice-Prime Minister also enumerated various Governmental measures offered to ensure the empowerment of women in Mauritius. These are: the extension of Maternity Leave from 12 to 14 weeks; the Back to Work programme which provides training to women above 35 years old; the introduction of a national minimum wage; and the provision of free tertiary education. These measures, she emphasised, have contributed to enhancing the quality of life of the population.
In addition, Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo, appealed for a change in mentality with regards to gender equality, adding that educating children on gender equity and equality at home is essential so that they grow up having respect for both men and women. She also urged continuity pertaining to the emancipation of women.
International Women's Day celebrations
Several activities comprising sensitisation campaigns and talks will be held during the month of March by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare to mark the International Day.
A march will also be held by the Commission Nationale du Sport Féminin in collaboration with the Mauritius Sports Council on Sunday 10 March as from 09.30 hours starting from Bagatelle Dam to proceed to Réduit. Some 500 women from 21 walking clubs will also benefit from a panoply of medical tests.
International Women's Day, commemorated on 8 March annually, is an occasion par excellence, to celebrate the achievements of women as well as reflect and develop strategies and actions plan to address gender gaps and achieve gender equality.