Women in the Republic of Mauritius have made tremendous progress and they play a pivotal role in society, said the Minister of Gender Equality and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Koonjoo-Shah, today at the Centre Culturel et de Loisirs, Mon Plaisir, in Rodrigues, on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023.
This year’s theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, highlights the role of innovative technology in promoting gender equality and meeting the health and developmental needs of women and girls.
In her address, Minister Koonjoo-Shah underlined that technology and digitalisation form part of our everyday life. She observed that technology has been used to connect learners and teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of continuous learning. She however cautioned against the dangers of technology such as sextortion and urged digital users to make use of technology in a wise manner.
Another concern raised by her was violence against women and girls. She deplored the fact that in a modern Republic, women are still subjected to violence. According to her, male engagement is critical to ending violence and discrimination against women and girls. Partnering with men as allies to establish positive gender attitudes is key to changing a culture that has historically reinforced gender-based violence, she stated.
Minister Koonjoo-Shah further dwelt on the need to stop violence against women and girls and condemned this global scourge. She urged citizens to denounce acts of violence and harassment against women and girls. She recalled that the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare offers a wide range of assistance and support services for women and underlined that the Domestic Violence Information System has been set up at the Ministry for registration of reported cases of domestic violence which will allow for data harmonisation, easier record keeping, and faster retrieval of information on domestic violence issues.
Speaking about women entrepreneurs in Rodrigues, the Minister underscored the National Women Entrepreneur Council is being reviewed to make Rodrigues even more inclusive. “Women must be able to sell their product online, and not only on the regional market, but on the international market. Female entrepreneurs in Rodrigues will have the full support of the central Government,” she said.
Furthermore, she highlighted that that her Ministry is currently working on a Family Policy Paper which aims to improve the welfare of the family. She added that the demands and requests from Rodrigues need to be identified and will be taken on board.
She reassured that Rodrigues occupies a prominent place on the central Government’s agenda and added that the cordial relations that exist between both governments as well as political stability will ensure that the island progresses and develops further