Mauritius: International Women’s Day 2023 was marked this morning by a national event under the theme “Madam dan enn lemond digital: inflation, egalite, opportunity”, at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles.
The event was graced by the Prime Minister, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah, the World Health Organisation Representative in Mauritius, Dr Anne Ancia, and other eminent personalities.
In his allocution, Prime Minister Jugnauth stated that this day is an opportune time to express gratitude to all women for their contribution that spans from their family units, the society, their workplace and the progress of the country. Government, he stated, recognises the pivotal role of women in the community as well as their efforts to participate in the advancement of the country.
Speaking about this year’s theme, he underlined that the participation of women in the technological sphere will enable them to leverage it for their own progress, empowerment and success, thus further forging women’s equality.
The Prime Minister reiterated Government’s determination to champion the cause of gender equality and observed that the public sector had stepped ahead of the private sector in offering opportunities to women to take up top positions and high-responsibility jobs. According to him, there is a need for more female participation in the political sphere, which he emphasised, is an important platform to raise their voice.
Moreover, concerning the issue of Gender Based Violence and related crimes perpetrated against women, Prime Minister Jugnauth encouraged women to report such acts while pledging that Government will continue to uphold and protect women’s rights.
Mr Jugnauth recalled that the Government is spearheading various policies and measures aimed at tackling Gender-Based Violence. We have set up a High-Level Committee for the Elimination of Gender Based Violence chaired by myself, which is spearheading bold measures meaning from out from our Strategy, he said. He added that last year, Family Support Services providing coordinated and timely support to victims had been implemented.
Besides, the Prime Minister underpinned the need for continuous sensitisation and early education to enable a shift in the mindset of men so that they show due respect to women in the way they approach them, and on the other hand, to undo the internalisation of gender stereotypes and perception of inferiority by women.
Furthermore, PM Jugnauth reiterated his political will to fight against the drug scourge to protect the country’s population, as well as his priority to cater for the well-being and improved quality of life for the population through the provision of a range of benefits, including an increased Basic Retirement Pension.
As for Minister Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah, she highlighted that International Women’s Day 2023 celebrates the achievements and progress of all women through their emancipation.
She underlined that the presence of Prime Minister Jugnauth to celebrate this momentous event is a privilege and an honour, as he is a great advocate of women’s rights and a fervent promoter of gender equality.
The Minister remarked that Prime Minister Jugnauth is a staunch believer in women’s value, capacity and power and places the betterment, protection, well-being and progress of women at the core of the Government’s agenda.
Furthermore, the Gender Minister rejoiced that much progress had been made as regards the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights in the Republic of Mauritius and assured that the Government is further striving to chart a bright future for its female population. She expressed conviction that all women of the country possess the determination and resilience to persevere and contribute to the progress of the Nation.
As regards the theme of this year’s celebration, the Minister dwelt on the need for women to be able to tap into the multiple opportunities provided by technology, for which she emphasised the required conducive environment and necessary security to enable a more equal and safe participation in the field is being catered for by Government.
On that score, Mrs Koonjoo-Shah announced that the functions of the National Women Entrepreneur Council are being reviewed to include the use of technology to enhance the business activities of women entrepreneurs.
She observed that the Mobile App “Lespwar” is one successful example of the use of technology to advance the cause of eliminating Gender Based Violence. She indicated that an increasing number of women was using the App to report abuses and urged all members of the community to contribute to the fight against Gender-Based Violence by reporting perpetrators of such acts.
The theme retained by the United Nations for the celebration of International Women’s Day this year is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
The National Strategy and Costed Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurship Development, which has been prepared by the National Consultant of the United Nations Development Programme, was also launched on occasion.