The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, chaired, yesterday, at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis, the sixth High-Level Committee on the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence.
The meeting examined the mid-term review report on the implementation of recommendations under the National Strategy and Action Plan of the High-Level Committee on the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence. The report was presented by the International Consultant from the United Nations Development Programme, Mr Jason Meyer, whose services were retained to come up with the strategy to address Gender-Based Violence.
It is recalled that an Inter-Ministerial High-Level Committee on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister has been set up to address the scourge of GBV. The High-Level Committee formulated its National Strategy and Action Plan for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence in the Republic of Mauritius 2020-2024, which was launched in November 2020.
The National Strategy is being implemented at the level of four Technical Working Groups with the following objectives: first, change societal norms and beliefs that are against the principles of gender equality and equity; second, priority support services for survivors while holding perpetrators accountable; third, identify and redress discriminatory practices that perpetuate gender-based violence; and fourth, coordinated Monitoring and Evaluation.
In a statement following the meeting, the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare reminded that Government had a zero-tolerance policy toward Gender-Based Violence and any other forms of violence. She stressed that it was important to assess the implementation process of the National Strategy, namely how effectively the strategy was being implemented and the required corrective steps to address any shortcomings.
Mrs Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah expressed satisfaction that since November last, action completed had increased from 56% to 64%. She mentioned the holding of various sensitisation campaigns in numerous settings targeting various age groups, including school children, and the launching of mobile application, Lespwar (Hope), to ensure rapid response to cases of domestic violence.
However, the Gender Equality Minister stressed that despite those positive figures, many tasks remained to be done. She stated that as Chairperson of the National Steering Committee on Gender-Based Violence, it was critical to ensure the execution of the recommendations, and take on board the analysis made by the Consultant during the presentation of the mid-term review.
According to Mrs Koonjoo-Shah, as the Strategy entered its final year of implementation, the collaboration of every stakeholders and partners would be crucial to achieve a successful outcome. The way forward as elaborated by the Minister would focus, among others, on improving collaboration among stakeholders.
The Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare also reiterated her call to the population to report any form of violence. She stressed that the change in mindset with more people coming forward and breaking the silence was key in the fight against Gender-Based Violence.