- 05 October, 2017:
Gender mainstreaming is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies and programmes in all areas and at all levels. Achieving gender equality sets the target for adopting sound policies as regards gender equality and empowerment of women and girls at all levels in line with the Millenium Development Goal Five.
This statement was made this morning by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo, at the opening of a one-day consultative workshop on gender mainstreaming in the water and wastewater sectors which is being held today at Le Meridien Hotel in Pointe aux Piments. The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, and other eminent personalities were also present.
The Deputy Prime Minister underlined that gender mainstreaming is a strategy for making women's as well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that women and men can benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality, he added.
Mr Collendavelloo stated that in Mauritius around 20% of households are headed by women and that out of the 240 000 domestic consumers in the water sector, 10% are females. As regards applications for the water tank scheme, 50% were made by women, he said. Hence the need to use a gender perspective in integrated water resource management so as to ensure that issues that affect women and men are part of the analysis, programme and project planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Speaking about the development of the water sector, the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted that massive investments are being made so that all households in Mauritius receive clean and potable water round the clock. He pointed out that reservoirs at La Nicolière and Rivière des Anguilles will be constructed and that replacement of pipelines are being carried out throughout the country in a bid to decrease non-revenue water.
He underlined that policies are being implemented in the water sector as regards vulnerable groups. Around 63 000 households consuming less than 6 m3 benefit from free water while 40 000 households benefitted from the water tank grant.
For her part, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, stated that the workshop is an indication of Government’s commitment to assess plans and policies from a gender standpoint. According to her, the impact is different for both men and women as regards water and water needs.
She pointed out that women and girls benefit more when services are improved. It is also important, she said, to ensure that more women are involved in the planning and implementation of water projects.
Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo recalled that gender mainstreaming is a key priority of her Ministry while adding that a National Steering Committee on Gender Mainstreaming has been set up at the level of the Ministry. The aim, she said, is to work towards mainstreaming gender into sectoral policies.
Furthermore, the Minister pointed that the concept of gender responsive budgeting is also being implemented and that each Ministry is being allocated with funds for putting in place women empowerment initiatives and that technical guidance is being provided as well. She added that assistance is being sought from India for training and building of capacities of gender focal points.
An initiative of the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities, the workshop aims at identifying gender gaps and recommend measures to be taken so as to reduce gender gaps that afflict the society. Around 30 participants from the public and private sectors are attending.
The workshop is in line with the National Integrated Water Resource Management Plan developed by the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities. The Plan identifies a range of priority interventions that are required to implement integrated water resources management and address identified challenges facing water management in the country. It will enable a holistic approach to water management and facilitate concerted actions among the key institutions and stakeholders.
An expert on gender mainstreaming, Mrs Vasudha Pangare, has been appointed to develop guidelines and indicators for mainstreaming gender in the water and waste water sectors in Mauritius.
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