The workshop, held from 06 to 10 May 2019, is the second workshop on “Advancing Gender Equality in Customs Administrations” and is being sponsored by the WCO through the financial support of the Finland ESA Project II. It is a follow up of the one held in Pretoria, South Africa from 28 May to 01 June 2019 and comprises a delegation of three resource persons including the Programme Manager of the Finland East and Southern Africa (ESA). Participants from nine different countries namely Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe are also attending.
lauded the initiative of the WCO and the MRA for hosting this workshop and expressed confidence that foreign participants will shed light on good practices within the customs department of their respective countries. The MRA, she added, is playing a keyrole in advancing gender equality through this workshop, thus showing that the country is moving beyond theory to action in the pursuit of gender equality.
Speaking about women empowerment, Mrs Jeewa Daureeawoo underlined that gender equality cannot be achieved if institutions do not fully assume their responsibilities with regards to upholding the principal of equality between men and women and if commitments are not turned into concrete measures. She further said that an opportunity to boost gender equality was provided since the adoption of goal five of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015, hence, making this workshop very strategic as a process for empowering women for the attainment of gender equality.
The Minister dwelt on the importance of understanding that gender issues are not women issues alone but rather, it is about the unequal power relation between men and women. Therefore, she stated that it is important that men play a bigger role during the workshop by doing away with patriarchal norms as well as gender insensitive laws, policies and programmes to the detriment of women.
As regards gender gaps, Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo highlighted the need to synergise efforts and work together to identify gender gaps in terms of policies, practices and institutional framework and to come up with appropriate actions to address shortcomings. They include: the role of women as leaders; less exposure and lack of opportunities to participate significantly to policy making and; under representation of women in decision-making.
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