The validation workshop is a continuation of the implementation of the National Gender Policy Framework (NGPF) launched in March 2008. The draft sectoral gender policies of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, the Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands, and the Ministry of Fisheries are being examined.
In her opening speech, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs. Mireille Martin, stated that the adoption of the NGPF is testimony of the country’s commitment to attain gender equality in line with Government policy and as advocated in international and regional fora. The NGPF embodies a vision of empowering women and recognises that gender is a cross-cutting issue, she said.
‘While we must appreciate that progress has been made to enhance women’s status in Mauritius, we also need to take into account baseline indicators regarding prevailing gender gaps so that we may orient our policies adequately’, observed the Minister. She cited as example the under-representation of women in politics, the feminisation of poverty, and patriarchal norms and attitudes which constitute major barriers to women’s empowerment.
Now is the time to act and call for a greater, systematic and sustainable synergy between all partners to render their policies and programmes gender-friendly, stressed the Minister. The adoption of a gender approach in our policies will, undoubtedly contribute to the realisation of social and economic empowerment for all, she added.
National Gender Policy Framework
The National Gender Policy Framework has been designed to provide the guiding principles, strategies and institutional arrangements for achieving gender equality at national level. The document outlines the vision of Mauritius for gender equality and women’s empowerment, that is, a society where men and women live in dignity and mutual respect and are equal partners in the process of decision making.
It is a generic document that calls upon the public and private sectors, NGOs, community-based organisations, academic institutions, donor agencies, media and other stakeholders to mainstream gender in their policies and programmes.
Presently 12 out of the 25 Ministries are fully involved in mainstreaming gender in their policies.