Mauritius: Parliamentary Gender Caucus to be set up in Mauritius

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) - The Speaker of the Mauritius National Assembly, Mrs Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, says the proposed setting up of a Parliamentary Gender Caucus in Mauritius is a strong signal of Government’s political will for women’s empowerment and gender equality agenda at the highest level of decision-making.

Speaking Monday in Port-Louis at a Consultative Meeting for the formulation of a Strategic Framework for the setting up of the Parliamentary Gender Caucus, Hanoomanjee observed that Mauritius is among the very few countries in the region which has not yet set up a Gender Caucus and highlighted the need to have a Caucus at parliamentary level.

She elaborated on the objectives of a Gender Caucus, namely to create a gender-responsive culture within parliament and a gender network in parliament that takes on board men as well.

Also speaking, Dr. Sonia Palmieri, a Gender Expert whose services have been enlisted by the United Nations Development Programme for the formulation of the Strategic Framework, elaborated on the added value of establishing a Parliamentary Gender Caucus. 

"One of the great benefits is the promotion of women’s descriptive and substantive representation. Such a Caucus also serves to ensure that gender equality issues are mainstreamed into legislative and policy processes and within parliamentary processes as well as facilitate dialogue within and across parties", she said.

Women’s caucuses or parliamentary groups are mechanisms that have been created within the parliaments of many countries to strengthen cooperation among women engaged in political life. Such caucuses can bring women parliamentarians together across party lines in effective alliances around a common goal.
They can serve for several purposes namely: establish Cross-Party Cooperation, unite women parliamentarians from different political parties around issues they all can support, helping them rise above the tensions between parties to fight for women’s causes or collaborate on other policy issues.

They are also meant to defend women’s legislative priorities and increase their influence in Parliament.
-0- PANA NA/VAO 25Jan2016

25 january 2016 13:30:24

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