Mauritius: A quota for women’s representation at long last

Date: June 17, 2011
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The struggle has indeed been a long one. We have fought for more than ten years. We went to nearly every village in Mauritius using the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development as a tool to tell men and women about the importance of having women in politics.

We did many workshops too. In one, prior to the 2005 general elections, the then leader of the opposition and now Prime Minister of Mauritius, Navin Ramgoolam, gave a thought-provoking presentation on why it is important to have women in politics. Ramgoolam even assured the hundreds of participants that his party was very much aware of this deficit (women were then just 5.4% in Parliament) and added “the first past the post system constitutes a major impediment for women while a proportional or a mixed system can be favourable to women.”

He also said “I hope that when we will be in power we will have the consensus to introduce a PR system in our electoral reform.”

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