The Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Home Affairs and External Communications, Minister for Rodrigues, Outer Islands and Territorial Integrity, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, announced the setting up of a high level committee at the Prime Minister's Office to deal with and address the problem of domestic violence on women.
He was speaking yesterday at an event held in the context of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women at the Paul Octave Wiehe Auditorium, Réduit, an initiative of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare. The Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah was also present.
The committee, highlighted the Prime Minister, will have the responsibility to look into the problem of domestic violence against women, identify the causes and review existing strategies if necessary.
He further observed that domestic violence is a violation of human rights and urged every individual to remain engaged to the noble cause of combatting violence against women so as together we can put a stop to this scourge. The fight against domestic violence, underscored the Prime Minister, is not only the battle of the Government or the Non-Governmental Organisations, but the combat against this scourge, he added, is the concern of one and all including the civil society.
The Prime Minister reiterated that actions should be taken both for victims of domestic violence and offenders as according to him, the person committing domestic violence on others are sick and need treatment, and need to realise that what they are doing is barbaric. For this reason, such people need a follow up and Government will work not only with the victims but also with the offenders to achieve the end results of eliminating domestic violence, he added.
For her part, Minister Koonjoo-Shah recalled that violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today which according to her, remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it. She expressed concern regarding the cases of domestic violence that Mauritius has recently witnessed whereby women have lost their lives.
On this score, she encouraged women to come forward and report cases of domestic violence and recalled that since January 2019 to date, some 1495 cases of domestic violence have been reported. In an era where the country is heading towards economic development to achieve substantial growth, she cautioned that it is unacceptable that the country is still facing the problems of domestic violence. A case of domestic violence, is one too many, Mrs Koonjoo-Shah stressed, and she called upon each and everyone to join hands in a collective effort to put an end to violence against women and girls.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is marked on the 25th November every year. The theme chosen by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare to commemorate the day is: Nou tou kont violans.
The United Nation's (UN) 2019 theme is: Orange the World: generation Equality Stands Against Rape which like in previous years, will mark the launch of 16 days of activism by the UN that will conclude on 10 December 2019, on International Human Rights Day.