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Women and girl empowerment essential to achieve sustainable development

Date: December 02, 2016
Persona: Business; Citizen; Government; Non-Citizen

GIS – 02 December 2016: The necessity to empower women and girls so that they participate fully across all sectors and contribute to achieve sustainable development was reiterated by the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Marie-Aurore Perraud, yesterday at the opening of the Consultative workshop on the African Gender and Development Index (AGDI) at Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel in Port Louis.  
“There will be no sustainable development without gender equality, and there will not be gender equality without empowerment of women and girls,” she said.
According to the Minister, women have been stigmatised and dominated for too long, as well as have been drawn backwards by stereotypes, and religious and cultural constrictions. She deplored the fact that women have been made to believe that they are lesser humans, weak and potential dangers. “We have a long fight ahead but I still dream, as a Minister, that women and men will get equal chances, equal access to resources and opportunities, and equal rights in our country,” said Mrs Perraud.
Given that the gender concept itself is relatively new, misunderstood and often confused with sex, the Minister made an appeal for more research and statistics, which are deemed essential to progress and development. Mrs Perraud underlined the importance of indicators such as AGDI to monitor and measure national performance and identify inclusive strategies to combat gender inequalities, particularly in the economic, political and social spheres.
African Gender and Development Index
The AGDI is a monitoring mechanism developed by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to assist governments achieve the goal of measuring gender equality in a timely and efficient manner. It allows policy makers to assess their own performance in implementing policies and programmes geared towards ending women’s marginalisation. The AGDI also aims to improve knowledge on African women’s issues and concerns, through analysis and visibility.
It comprises the African Women’s Progress Scoreboard, which measures progress in women empowerment and advancement, and the Gender Status Index, which assesses relative gender inequalities based on readily available quantitative indicators on education and health; income time use, employment, and access to resources; and formal and informal political representation.
The AGDI process is overseen by senior policy makers as part of a National Advisory Panel whose role is to ensure ownership and accuracy of data. In Mauritius, members of the National Steering Committee will act as National Advisory Panel.
The National Steering Committee on Gender Mainstreaming, spearheaded by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, aims at providing a platform for representatives of all Ministries to give feedback on the status of their gender policies as well as learn and share best practices on gender related issues. The Committee meets every semester.
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email:  Website:
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