GIS - 20 January, 2020: A two-day capacity building workshop regrouping some 60 officers from various public organisations and parastatal bodies was held, on 16 and 17 January 2020, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava. The primary objective of the event, organised by the Prime Minister’s Office and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), was to disseminate knowledge about aspects of Gender Mainstreaming and guide participants in the setting up of a gender cell at their place of work.
Present at the launching, the UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles, Ms Amanda Serumaga, underlined the importance of having gender cells in government entities and agencies adding that a pool of dedicated staff is required so as to translate visions into actions as regards Gender Mainstreaming successfully. It is crucial, she said, to identify gaps in gender equality through the use of sex-disaggregated data, develop strategies through resources and expertise for gender equality, monitor implementation, and hold individuals and institutions accountable for results.
On this score, Ms Serumaga highlighted that the main goal of Gender Mainstreaming is to foster equality at all levels, be it at home or at the place of work as well as to create an inclusive and sustainable society for both genders. She added that a collective understanding of gender focal points and a holistic approach to the issue will help take stock of progressive actions taken in various organisations as regards Gender Mainstreaming.
She observed that despite limited capacity and technical expertise in Mauritius, more efforts and strong will towards woman economic and social empowerment are needed to bring a real change. Moreover, she reiterated the United Nation’s support in the formulation and effective operationalisation of the Costed Gender Action Plan for Mauritius.
For his part, the Secretary to Home Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, Mr O.K Dabidin, stated that there is an underrepresentation of women at places of work. He underlined the proportion of seats held by women in the National Assembly in Mauritius was at 11.59 % as of 2019 and that this year has noted an increase of 2%, which he said, is a boost to women empowerment. He also spoke of the forthcoming Children’s Bill which will protect children and help guarantee that human rights are preserved.
The workshop was facilitated by the International Consultant on Gender Mainstreaming, Mr J. Meyer and other representatives of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare. A situational overview of trends and aspects relating to gender equality was discussed with participants after which the latter had to come up with a gender action plan for their respective organisations. The recommendations of the workshop include the setting up of a gender cell comprising of several members to ensure implementation of Gender Mainstreaming initiatives.
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