GIS – 22 September 2016: “The Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare is bringing about a mini-revolution with the introduction in the 15 women centres across Mauritius of ten new services which are more responsive to modern society as well as to the aspirations and needs of women.”
The statement was made by the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Marie-Joyce Perraud, at the National Women Development Centre in Phoenix this morning at the launching ceremony of ten new services in women centres. She stressed the importance of women empowerment to achieve gender equality, thus the introduction of new services that will provide information and training to women to enable them to stand on their feet.
Speaking on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, the Minister called on all Mauritians to contribute to GEWE and fight discrimination still faced by women. She encouraged the population to join a Gender Equality Walk which will be held soon to show their commitment to GEWE.
The measures being taken by the Ministry for the empowerment of women and the achievement of gender equality were also highlighted by Mrs Perraud. The measures include, among others, the passing of legislation to protect, and uphold the rights of women namely the Protection from Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2016 and the National Women's Council Act 2016; the requirement for all public companies listed on the Stock Exchange to have at least one woman on their Board of Directors; and the allocation of Rs 200,000 to five key Ministries with a view to consolidate gender mainstreaming in all policies and programmes.
According to Mrs Perraud, these measures are testimony to Government’s will to have a just and equitable society by enabling women to be at par with men by strengthening women’s empowerment to achieve gender equality in all sectors of development, that is social, economic and political fields. “Women are proving themselves as strong, competent, and intelligent, and must serve as role models for youngsters”, affirmed the Minister.
Women Empowerment Centres
The 15 women centres, operating under the aegis of the National Women Council, are being rebranded as “Women Empowerment Centres”, to better reflect government’s commitment towards Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) and to cater for the needs of the 2016 women. The opening hours of the centres are being reviewed so that a greater number of women can join in the activities.
The newly introduced services comprise safety of women to reduce risks of victimisation; leadership through the role model concept; getting ready to work; goal programme for young girls, home maintenance and minor repairs programme; personal development programme; mobile legal advice; promoting wellness and wellbeing; support to overcome distress and anxiety; and networking initiative.
An open day was also held at the National Women Development Centre in Phoenix to apprise women of the services.