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International Women’s Day: “Breaking Prejudices” Is Still Relevant

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On this Tuesday 8th March, we are celebrating the 111th Women’s Day.  As a tradition, the International Women’s Day (IWD) is given a theme each year, which often relates to contemporary events, trends and struggles. Individuals across the globe are being encouraged to “Break the Bias” in honor of International Women’s Day, with the 2022 celebration calling for a world free of stereotypes and discrimination.

Since 1911, International Women’s Day has brought together citizens to celebrate the achievements of women and promote equality, and this year organizers hope to further the mission of diversity, equity and inclusivity for a “gender-equal world.”

The theme of 2022 International Women’s Day is “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. “Advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century.

It all started in 1908 when 15,000 women took part in a New York City March, calling for shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. A year later, the Socialist Party of America marked the anniversary of the March by declaring it as the first National Woman’s Day. The unanimously supported idea of celebrating Women’s Day by 100 women in 1910 gave birth to the first International Women’s Day the following year (1911), which was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland as well as in the United States.

IWD remained a stand-alone event until 1975 when the United Nations marked the day and organised celebrations. In 1996, the UN began to assign a theme for each year’s celebrations, where the first them was “Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future”.

Mauritius has always been working in favor of empowering women and we are one of the rare countries, that had a woman as a Head of the State. Indeed, Dr. Bibi Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, GCSK; served as the 6th President of Mauritius from 2015 to 2018. In December 2014, she was selected to be the Presidential Candidate of Alliance Lepep and took her post after the resignation of Kailash Purryag on 29th May 2015. Both the Prime Minister of that time, late Sir Anerood Jugnauth and the then Leader of the Opposition, Paul Berenger positively welcomed her nomination, which was unanimously approved by votes in the National Assembly.

Another first for the Republic of Mauritius was when Bibi Rehana Gulbul-Mungly made history by being the first woman to hold the position of Chief Justice of Mauritius after 54 years of independence. She succeeded the Chief Justice, Asraf Caunhye who has retired on 18th November 2021 at the age of 67, after having held the position for over a year.

To celebrate this special event, Le Matinal team has met several women. Both successful and independent, they sent a special message to all the women listening to them.

National Gender Policy 2022-2030

The official ceremony to celebrate Women’s Day organized by the government will be held this Tuesday at Sir Harilal Vaghjee Memorial Hall, Port Louis. An initiative of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Honorable Kalpana Devi KOONJOO-SHAH, to mark the day. The Prime Minister who is the Chief Guest of this event will launch the National Gender Policy 2022-2030.

On this note, the whole Le Matinal Team wishes every woman a very Happy Women’s Day.

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