GIS – 25 May, 2018: ‘ The Civil service in Mauritius has a gender sensitive institutional culture in general and there appears to be a deep personal, institutional and political commitment to achieve gender equality at all levels in the Civil service, from the administrative to the technical cadres, of the national gender machinery’.
This is one of the main findings of a study entitled The Gender Audit in the Civil Service in Mauritius. The key findings and recommendations of the study were presented this morning during a half-day workshop for Gender Focal Points (GIFs) of Ministries, which was held at Le Sirius, Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel in Port Louis.
The key findings and recommendations of a second study entitled The Sociological Profiling of Perpetrators of Domestic Violence in Mauritius were also discussed. Both studies were commissioned by the Parliamentary Gender Caucus.
Addressing participants at the event, the Speaker of the Mauritius National Assembly and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Gender Caucus, Mrs Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, rejoiced that the Parliamentary Gender Caucus has, since its launch in March 2017, gathered momentum adding that the specificity of the caucus is that it demarcates itself from the Executive through its legislature role.
According to the Speaker, the caucus, in line with its critical role, has deemed it critical to invite members who are at the higher level of decision making to be nominated as GFPs so that they are able to influence the whole policy and budgetary processes with a gender lens and better guide the actions of the gender cells in their respective Ministries.
For Mrs Hanoomanjee, GFPs’ role will be predominant in executing the recommendations of the caucus and similarly the GFPs will be called upon to give an account of initiatives implemented at the level of their Ministries to address any sectoral gender gaps. First and foremost these gaps need to be identified and it is in this context that the caucus has aligned its priorities at this stage in terms of establishing the baseline data and identifying pertinent gender gaps that impede on the achievements of equality and equity at the national level, she pointed out.
In addition, the Speaker indicated that in the light of the disaggregated data on the status of gender equality in the private sector, the caucus has solicited the collaboration of the private sector through Business Mauritius to undertake a participatory gender audit exercise amongst registered enterprises under its banner. The outcome of the said exercise will shed more light on the positioning of women and men at board levels as well as focus on any pertinent gender gap in that sector. The results will further inform future policy-making relating to the private sector, she said.
Workshop and findings
The UNDP National Gender Expert, Ms Anjalee Dabee, made a presentation on the theme ‘Contextualising Gender Equality in Mauritius’.
The study on The Gender Audit in the Civil Service in Mauritius, conducted by the UNDP National Gender Expert attached to the Mauritius National Assembly, aimed at examining the status of gender mainstreaming in the Civil service of Mauritius. The study Sociological Profiling of Perpetrators of Domestic Violence in Mauritius was carried out by the University of Mauritius with the support of the UNDP to analyse the risk factors and triggers of domestic violence.
The gender audit exercise has revealed that, while the Civil service can celebrate a number of successes, there are also a number of challenges that have been identified to further gender mainstreaming into the policies, programmes and budgets of Ministries. They include technical capacity on sectoral gender mainstreaming and implementing gender responsive budgeting as well as the formulation of gender sensitive indicators.
The gender auditing exercise was carried out using the overarching concept of the Gender Integration Framework (GIF). According to the GIF, there is strong political will, that is, high level institutional will to do gender mainstreaming, the figure stands at 66%. In terms of technical capacity to ensure gender mainstreaming, the figure is 47%, while for accountability, that is, the mechanism through which Ministries determine the extent they walk the talk the figure stands at 36%. As regards the element of culture, the number is 61% because there is a feminisation of the Civil service and in terms of the budgetary measures it is 45%.
With reference to the Sociological Profiling of Perpetrators of Domestic Violence in Mauritius the study reveals that there are different dynamics at play that result in the perpetration of violence, namely unemployment, long hours of work, heavy alcohol consumption, mental illnesses, and unequal gendered power dynamics in the household.
As reported in the study there is not one single profile of a perpetrator of domestic violence, rather there are numerous risk factors and situational triggers to domestic violence.
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