GIS – 28 August ,2018: The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Ministerial Conference focusing on the theme ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment: A Prerequisite for Sustainable Development’, opened this morning at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel in Balaclava.
Delegates from 19 IORA Member States are attending the two-day conference which is an initiative of the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare. The Conference is expected to lead to the finalisation and adoption of the Work Plan of the Working Group on Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Present on the occasion, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, highlighted that it is imperative to promote women’s economic empowerment since it is the cornerstone of achieving the sustainable development goals. When women rise to the heights of prosperity in their community, it creates opportunities for greater justice, peace, development as well as sustainable and inclusive economies, she stated.
Vice-Prime Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo spoke of the necessity to invest in women and girls to unleash and tap into their potentials and reiterated IORA’s commitment in shaping and expanding the opportunities of women. Member States are key players in supporting IORA’s efforts to achieve prosperity in the region by creating better sustainable societies for their citizens, she emphasised. Since 2016, she recalled, there have been concerted and commendable efforts of the IORA to push forward the agenda of advancing women’s economic opportunities.
According to Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo, the present Ministerial Conference is the peak of a new era for the IORA as it offers a unique platform for high calibre professionals in the field of gender and human affairs to deliberate and shed more light on women’s economic empowerment and to realise its set objectives by making the Working Group functional. Gender focal points, she indicated, should strategise and identify concrete, practical and actionable recommendations which should be shared with relevant Ministries to ensure that women are subject of policies and vital agents of constructive change.
In addition, the Vice-Prime Minister pointed out that it is also important to consider strategies, initiatives and policies which integrate a gender responsive approach into the six priority areas of intervention as a means of promoting and elevating the environment for transforming gender relations and fulfilment of women’s rights.
Speaking about the Working Group, Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo stated that it represents a new path to achieve women’s economic empowerment by bringing forth innovative and robust initiatives that will make the difference.
As for the Chair of the IORA and Minister of Small Business Development of the Republic of South Africa, Mrs Lindiwe Zulu, she pointed out that the IORA enables Member States to share best practices and experiences to enhance the emancipation of women who still face various challenges in the society . The Ministerial Conference, according to her, will help raise awareness and promote knowledge sharing on policies, programmes, initiatives and best practices that endorse the economic empowerment of women.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://gis.govmu.org