GIS - 23 September, 2014: It is through politics that women’s voices can be heard, and their ideas and aspirations taken into consideration at the highest levels of decision-making.
The Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Mireille Martin, reiterated the importance of women’s representation in the local political life, this morning, at the launching of a Capacity Building Programme for the Political Empowerment of Women.
The one-day programme, held at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre, Bell Village, was organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in collaboration with the National Women Council, with the objective of equipping women with the right tools and techniques to support their participation during the electoral cycle.
Speaking to some 200 members of women's associations of the regions of Plaine Wilhems, Black River, Port Louis, Pamplemousses and Rivière du Rempart, Mrs Martin highlighted the need for women to engage in politics in order to advance their concerns in various fields. She recalled the different measures taken by Government to enable women to participate in the running of the country namely the adoption of legislations such as the Equal Opportunities Act and the New Local Government Act.
It is to be recalled that the Equal Opportunities Act aims, among others, at eliminating any form of discrimination in a direct or indirect manner and ensuring that every person has an equal opportunity to attain his objectives in various spheres of activities. As for the Local Government Act, it provides namely for a mandatory gender ratio of one to three for candidates in local elections, thus ensuring a participation rate for women of at least 30 %.
According to Mrs Martin, politics is about commitment, helping people, working hard with and for every citizen towards the prosperity of the country. She stated that though women faced many challenges and constraints, they have the ability and competence to contribute to bring positive changes in society. The Minister thus promised her continued support for capacity development of women.
The Capacity Building Programme for the Political Empowerment of Women is part of the Ministry’s endeavour to train some 800 women in politics by the end of 2014. To date, some 600 participants have been trained. Topics discussed comprise electoral laws, campaign planning and development of campaign materials, public speaking skills, and media relations, among others.
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