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Collective Effort To Bridge Gender Gaps Undermining Women’s Full Participation

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“We should all put on our gender lens and be partners in translating and implementing the recommendations of the National Gender Policy (2022-2030) launched yesterday”, stated the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Koonjoo-Shah, at Beau Bassin.

She was speaking at the opening of a workshop on the theme Gender Equality Today for A Sustainable Tomorrow in the context of the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022. The workshop is a joint initiative of the Government Services Employees Association and Gender Links.

Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah At Gender Equality Workshop

At the outset, Mrs Koonjoo-Shah said that the IWD is a day to pay tribute to feminist pioneers who fought relentlessly and advocated unflinching efforts for women’s rights. She pointed out that her Ministry has retained the theme Shifting Gender Equality from the Margins to the Centre for the IWD which she said “is testimony that all our partners are advocating for a gender inclusive society, for a sustainable tomorrow and equal future for all”.

To this end, she dwelt on the importance to collectively work towards bridging the outstanding gender gaps that continue to undermine women’s full representation and participation in various fields of development.

Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah At Gender Equality Workshop

This workshop, she added provides the opportunity to familiarise with the gender equality discourse and identify entry points to make the Trade Unions gender sensitive and responsive to the strategic needs of women in the employment sector.

With regard to the challenges faced by women within the employment sector, Minister Koonjoo-Shah spoke of the post COVID-19 crisis which has impacted on women differently namely women’s retrenchment, unemployment and decreased salaries.

Gender Equality Workshop

The feminisation of unemployment is yet another issue to be addressed, she said while adding that low paid and/or part time jobs, harassment at the place of work as well as non-conducive environment are some important issues to be dealt with.

She observed that it is therefore essential to “work in a collective and unified manner to ensure that women are fully empowered to be able to advocate for equal opportunities and benefits”.

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