The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement this morning at the official celebration of the International Women’s Day 2019 held at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles. The theme chosen at national level to mark the day is: “Egalite zom/fam koumans par mwa” and that of the United Nations is “Think Equal, build smart, innovate for change”.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Leslie Collendavelloo, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila-Jeewa Daureeawoo and several eminent personalities were also present on that occasion.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth recalled the essential role and values of women in the society at all levels of the social ladder and cautioned that prejudices and lack of respect against women, violence against women, and abuse of power to exploit women should be behind us as such actions will result to severe sanctions.
He dwelt on the numerous measures put in place by his Government to protect women against such scourges namely: the setting up of the Integrated Support Centre to provide victims of domestic violence with a comprehensive and integrated service; the putting in place of a dedicated service by the Citizen Support Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office in the 35 Citizens Advice Bureau across the island to support victims of domestic violence; the Safe City project which will help identify cases of violence; and the grant of financial assistance by the Development Bank of Mauritius in the forms of no guarantee loans up to a ceiling of Rs 500 000 at a fixed interest rate of 3% to assist women to start a business and 40% spaces in industrial zones projects will be earmarked to women entrepreneurs; among others.
Prime Minister Jugnauth, expressed his conviction that Government recognises the contribution and merit of women in the economic development of the country and reiterated his total support to women in accessing positions at high level of decision-making instances. According to him, women should unite and set the agenda for the way forward.
He further underlined that the International Women’s Day is a day to reflect on the role of women in the society and the family adding that the theme for the day should not be a mere motto but that each and every one should apply it in their daily life routine and should start in our own homes.
For his part, Deputy Prime Minister, Ivan Collendavelloo, encouraged and called for more women to enroll for technical jobs in the electrical engineering fields in the utilities sector which he said is a promising sector for women in the future. He recalled the implementation of the home solar project launched since 2016 for low-income households especially run by women at the lower rung of the social ladder to enable them to consume electricity that they will produce themselves through solar panels.
This project, he added is part of Government’s efforts to alleviate poverty whilst contributing to the national target of achieving 35% of renewable electricity in the energy mix by 2025. He further highlighted that 46% beneficiaries are women and 989 households of such categories are equipped with solar panels which will in turn help low-income communities to be energy sufficient and save energy costs. He also spoke on the different schemes to provide water to the population on a 24/7 basis.
Vice-Prime Minister, Mrs Fazila-Jeewa Daureeawoo, called for greater emancipation of women and participation in the economic development of the country as women has a crucial role to play in all aspects of the society. She lauded all women who contributed to help Mauritius stand where it is today. She further underscored that we should instill the idea that men and women are entitled to equal rights and that women’s rights are human rights. Both should have balanced responsibilities at home so that they can have the chance to have an equal role in society and in the economy, she said. She further spoke of the various measures put in place by her Ministry to empower and protect women against domestic abuse and violence.
It is to be noted that the Integrated Support Centre to protect women against domestic violence, was also launched this morning. The service which will operate on a hotline 139 will allow victims to benefit from an immediate, consistent, coordinated and timely support and counselling.
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