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Pravind Jugnauth Calls For A Change Of Mentality And Behaviour Towards Mauritian Women

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To work for a greater emancipation of women by integrating them more in the economic development of the country.” This is the wish of the present government for the Mauritian women. On this commemorative day for women, the theme put forward by the United Nations was “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Future“. The relevant ministry also launched a National Gender Policy 2022-2030.

International Women's Day - Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Future

Rights, respect and recognition

The Prime Minister, Pravind Jugnauth was clear when he called for a change in the attitude and behaviour towards women: “Our priority is for society to recognise the rights to respect, freedom and protection from discrimination and violence against women. The struggle for women’s empowerment and gender equality should not be a mere motto, but should be applied in daily life by giving women and girls the respect, recognition and rights which are due to them in society“. The official celebration of International Women’s Day 2022 was held at the Sir Harilal Vaghjee Memorial Hall in Port Louis in the presence of the DPP. He recalled that the modern Mauritius has women with increasingly important roles in all sectors, Pravind Jugnauth thus evoked Mauritian success stories such as Ameenah Gurib Fakim – former but first woman President of the Republic of Mauritius, Rehanna Ameer – First woman Senior Puisne Judge, Maya Hanoomanjee – First woman Speaker, Naveena Ramyead – First woman Chief Whip, to illustrate and plead for the rights, the respect and the recognition of women at all levels of the society. He also delivered that the World Economic Forum’s Gender Global Gap Report 2021 shows that Mauritius has progressed from 115th in 2020 to 110th in 2021, and that he was keen to further narrow this gap. A fact that led Kalpana Koonjoo Shah to call Pravind Jugnauth a “champion” of this progress.

International Women's Day - Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Future

Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference

The PM elaborated on the Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum. “The aim of this conference is to encourage women to become entrepreneurs, to motivate them and to provide them with the necessary facilities.” He took the opportunity to recall the loans offered by the Development Bank of Mauritius, including the Rs 100,000 scheme with no collateral or interest rate up to 8 years with a moratorium of 5 years, and the Rs 1 million loan at a fixed interest rate of 5% for 5 years with a moratorium of 1-year Special Covid 19.

As for the National Gender Policy 2022-2030, it will commit the government to mainstreaming women in all policies and sectors of the public, especially in the private sector, but also to ensure the promotion of gender equality.

Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah

Women integrated in socio-economic development

During her speech, Kalpana Koonjoo-Shah, the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, recalled the current support but also the boost that women could bring to socio-economic development in the country. “For the past three years of Covid 19, Front Liners have been fighting the virus relentlessly and I want to pay tribute to them. My ministry is undertaking a study to understand how women are affected by the pandemic. This study will lead us to amendments in the interests of women,” she said. The message of the UN Secretary General was read by Dr Laurent Musango, who emphasised the role and contribution of women in managing the pandemic.

Laurent Musango

In 2022, the government is committed to fighting against domestic violence, inequality and discrimination against women. The government will also work on legislation and institutional changes. The PM mentioned that “a Gender Equality Bill will soon be amended“.

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