Mauritius: Towards the Setting Up of an Observatory for Gender-Based Violence

press release

The setting up of an Observatory for Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is high on Government's agenda to address the issues in relation to GBV cases which are matters of national concern. The Observatory will better help Government have an in-depth understanding as well as study the evolution of the different GBV cases.

The Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Koonjoo-Shah, made this statement, this morning, at the opening of a consultative workshop on the Observatory on Gender-Based Violence, at the Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa in Balaclava, in presence of other personalities.

The Observatory, she pointed out, will make recommendations and proposals to improve the services and facilities offered by the public institutions and civil society in the field of GBV. It will also enable the collection of evidenced-based information, gender disaggregated data as well as readily available information on the status of GBV, she added.

Minister Koonjoo-Shah, cautioned that GBV is a pervasive phenomenon which cuts across countries, societies, religions and ethnicities adding that it continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development and the fulfilment of women's rights.

She stressed on the harmonisation of data collection which according to her is fundamental to provide genuine statistics on GBV and to address this issue, she further stated that her Ministry has set up a Domestic Violence Information System to monitor, assess, record and generate specific reports on cases recorded by the Family Support Bureaux. The System will be extended to the Domestic Violence Information System, the Police Family Protection Units and Police Stations to enable better management and tracking of GBV cases, highlighted the Gender Minister.

She also pointed out that several initiatives have been undertaken against GBV by the Ministry and reiterated Government's strong commitment to eliminate this social scourge through the implementation of new strategies and programmes. On this score, she indicated that Government is setting up a High level Committee which will enable and facilitate a multi-sectoral approach to this scourge for accelerated actions in this fight.

The setting up of the Observatory, she underlined, will lead to informed policy making and monitoring and evaluation of initiatives on GBV. According to her, the Observatory would act as an advisory platform comprised of representatives from both public institutions and the civil society engaged in the common fight against GBV. It will in addition analyse the evolution of GBV in Mauritius and subsequently guide future public policies to eradicate this social problem, she concluded.

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