GIS – 04 May 2018: Women economic empowerment remains the cornerstone of sustainable development and entails multiple gains ranging from greater productivity, increased employment, poverty alleviation to enhanced livelihoods and economic growth,’ said the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, yesterday at Pearle Beach Resort and Spa, in Flic en Flac.
The Minister was speaking at the opening ceremony of a workshop on ‘Strengthening Women Economic Empowerment in the Indian Ocean. It is jointly organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). Sixteen IORA Member States are participating in the two-day workshop.
In her opening address, Mrs Jadoo-Jaunbocus recalled that women economic empowerment remains a sine qua none for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and therefore, it is fitting for all stakeholders to work together in accelerating joint actions to chart out a Roadmap and Action Plan geared towards strengthening the economic empowerment of women.
According to the Minister IORA member States share many commonalities despite their geographical location. Besides the vast Indian Ocean, diversity of cultures and socioeconomic context, the strong bonds of sisterhood brings IORA women together.
Some Member States, she said, have excelled in the implementation of gender-sensitive policies and tailor-made programmes to boost women economic empowerment. Others, are in the process of doing so whilst a few countries have a long way to go before their womenfolk are economically empowered, and it is, within this backdrop that Mauritius proposed to spearhead the establishment of a Working Group on ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment’, she added.
Moreover, the Minister spoke of the need to think in terms of having legislative frameworks that treat women at par with men in the social, economic and political spheres. ‘We need to have institutional mechanisms that are dedicated to work for women economic empowerment and promote the concept of mentoring and role models,’ she outlined.
For her part the Secretary General of the IORA, Dr Nomvuyo N. Nokwe, stated that the IORA increasingly recognises that the economic participation of women stimulates the growth of the economy and contributes to sustainable development.
According to her, economic empowerment is one of the most powerful roots for women to achieve their great potential as they are multi-skilled and contribute a lot within the economic sphere. A woman is economically empowered when she has both the ability to succeed and to make decisions shaping her life, she pointed out. Greater equality is what we have to strive for and it is also associated with better education and health, she added.
The objective is to provide a platform for IORA Member States to share experiences and best practices related to women economic empowerment. The aim is also to identify structural barriers that impede women’s full participation in economic activities and strategies for future course of action.
The workshop is organised within the perspective that the SDGs, adopted in 2015, sought to change the course of the 21st century by addressing key challenges such as poverty, inequality and violence against women. Women economic empowerment is a prerequisite for this objective to become a reality. It is also paving the way to the IORA Ministerial Meeting which the Republic of Mauritius will be hosting on 19-20 July 2018.
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