GIS - 12 June, 2017: A five-day capacity building programme focusing on Strengthening Multi-Agency Response to address Gender-Based Violence (GBV) opened this morning at Balaclava. The workshop is an initiative of the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in collaboration with the Embassy of the United States of America.
Some 52 stakeholders from the judiciary system, Mauritius Prison Service, Police department, amongst others are participating in this workshop with the view to be equipped with appropriate knowledge and technical expertise to combat GBV. The objective of the workshop is to facilitate and accelerate the development of sustainable solutions to fight GBV and to elaborate on domestic violence perpetrators rehabilitation programme.
Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, at the opening ceremony, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Jaunbocus, highlighted that GBV is a pervasive and global phenomenon which undermines not only safety, and dignity but also public health and economic stability and security of nations. GBV hinders the ability of individuals to fully participate and contribute to the development of their families and communities to strive economically, politically and socially, she added.
With regard to the impacts of GBV, she pointed out that it has adverse physical and mental health outcomes, resulting to limited access to education and poor learning outcomes. This type of violence rooted in structural gender inequalities affects and places women and girls disproportionately.
The incident of GBV, more particularly Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), Mrs Jaunbocus said, is prevailing at an alarming rate in Mauritius. She underscored that the perpetrators of GBV may be intimate partners, family members, members of the community or strangers.
The reports of a study on the prevalence of IPV commissioned by the Ministry last year highlighted that extreme IPV cases for women stood at one episode every seven to eight days, occasional IPV episodes for women stood at one per month and one episode every three months for men. This collaborative workshop will help Mauritius to strengthen intervention mechanism for better service delivery to understand issues surrounding IPV, she added.
For her part, the Chargé D’Affaires of the United States Embassy, Dr Melanie Zimmerman, who was also present, highlighted that the multi-agency approach calls for every sector to work together to fight this widespread phenomenon. Everyone is called upon to be agents of the change and not to remain a silent observer of this type of violence, she stressed.