Vacoas – Phoenix Municipal Council: Putting in practice the Gender Action Plan

Vacoas – Phoenix Municipal Council: Putting in practice the Gender Action Plan

Date: June 13, 2019
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Name of good practice Vacoas – Phoenix Municipal Council
Country Mauritius
Category LG COE Urban Council
Title Putting in practice the Gender Action Plan
Result Statement Vacoas Phoenix is the largest town in Mauritius and the second largest town in terms of population. The area is composed of two main towns, Vacoas and Phoenix. The town is also endowed with an Armorial Bearing and as motto “ Copia et Concordia” meaning harmony and abundance.

Vacoas-Phoenix is also known as the ‘Garden Town’ for it is the traditional supplier of vegetables and flowers.

Context The council consists of 16% of women, 52 % of women in the management department and overall in terms of the council’s staff, the percentage for women is only 14.8%. The council of Vacoas Phoenix serves a population of 100, 000 + individuals

The council of Vacoas Phoenix is working towards Gender Equality and is meeting the objectives of the Sectoral Gender Policy through activities and facilities offered to women in different fields. The council governed by the Local Government Act and also adheres with the Ministry of Local Government Gender Policy.

Women in the council occupy a lot of important seats notably- Councillors, DCE, ACE, PWO, Deputy Planner, HRMO, Inspectors, Welfare Cadres, MSO, OMA, and attendants.

The council assures that they have no gender bias in the work task, women and men are treated equally and with utmost respect since the council is supported by a workforce of predominant female staff. The women have a strong leadership driven mind so as to meet the Organisation’s  goals and objectives

Key Actions Gender and Climate Change: 

The council has also been very much so involved in steps towards a greener and more sustainable future thus, women, PWD, and youth are equally involved in projects that prevent climate change.

  • The residents of Vacoas Phoenix are encouraged to do waste segregation and recycling. ​
  • Compost bins were distributed for own composting and backyard gardening.​
  • Training was given to Women associations for rainwater harvesting by using simple and easy ways for water collection for gardening and cleaning purposes.​
  • Seniors Citizens and residents were sensitized and encouraged to apply for the water tank and Solar water heaters schemes under the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.​
  • This change in their lifestyle has shown a decrease in their utility bills.

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: 

  • Checkups for the residents of Vacoas Phoenix at the Town Hall Vacoas yearly offered free of charge by the council.
  • In 2018, the 4th Free Medical Checkup by the Saudi Arabia Friendships Association of Mauritius was held in collaboration with Council.​
  • Medical check-ups and counseling were carried out on various health issues by Specialist doctors from Saudi Arabia including Screening for Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer, pregnancies and problems related to menstruation, diabetes, hepatitis among others.​
  • For the year 2019 the Council is coming with a sensitisation programme on SRHR for  College students and self-defense coaching in our social halls targeting women and young girls which in the long run will be very beneficial since young girls will have all the information they need to know from a young age thus preventing any possible negative outcome regarding the matter.

Workplace Policy:

  • The administration of MCVP is mainly supported by a workforce of female staff. It became imperative for them to assert their leadership so as to meet the Organisation’s goals and objectives.
  • Women are respected, fairly and equally treated, supported and accepted at all levels by male colleagues.
  • No discrimination is felt and a healthy environment prevails at MCVP. Women have access to mess room, separate toilets and changing room, gender specific equipment (e.g boots and gloves )
  • Female staff are empowered through various workshops and programmes conducted by the Council, Ministries and NGOs even in sport.
  • Women have prospects for promotion and professional training as well.

Ending Violence: ‘’The Council since 2013 has set up together with the Vacoas Police Station a neighborhood watch cell in different localities to keep people safe in their communities and to prevent crime.

Awareness: ‘’A competition ( Drawing/Poetry/Slam)on social scourges in collaboration with Embassy of the United State of America was organised at the Town hall with the participation of secondary colleges.’’

Partners Ministry of Local Government

Association and clubs in the vicinity of the Municipal Council of Vacoas Phoenix

Strategies MCVP has a gender cell reporting matters to the Ministry of Local Government. It has to be noted that the establishment in MCVP is gender balanced. Both men and women as social actors are engaged in strategies and processes of the Council. Women are well represented on various committees ( procurement committee, public health, public infrastructures, welfare…)
How many US$ have been allocated per area.
Gender specific allocation Gender in mainstream projects Amount contributed in cash or in kind by partner organisations
Rs 75,000 – Rs 50,000 – NIL
Please explain who the donor/partner was and what they contributed in relation to the in kind contributions you mentioned above. N/A
Challenges Challenges:

  • Procedures too long and time consuming to have the approval of concerned authorities
  • limited funding & sponsorship is very minimal
  • Additional Funds for gender activities are met from the budget for Welfare Activities upon approval(besides the Rs 40,000 earmarked )
  • There is a need for regular meetings for continuity
  • Low public responsiveness (except for youth participation from respective colleges)
Immediate results and next steps
  • The gender balance at the administrative level brings the required stability while ensuring good governance at MCVP
  • MCVP is more responsive to the needs of the local community e.g immediate construction of drains
  • The neighbourhood watch in pocket areas helps to maintain law and order, end/reduce violence and strengthen security
  • Promotion of girls in Futsal is a laudable initiative as it broken necessary taboos and encouraged girls into male-oriented  sports
Long term Impact
  • Approval for an increase in the budget for gender based activities is being sought for the coming financial year
  • Emphasis is being laid on mass communication and dissemination of events being organised to reach more people and encourage participation
  • Besides promoting girls in all sports, MCVP is the 1st to introduce Futsal for girls, the Vacoas/Phoenix Futsal Girls team and we also have our “Ecole de futsal” for girls & boys at Paillotte Omnicomplex
Learning and how this will be applied
  • A calendar of activities is sent at the beginning of each year to parent Ministries/ institutions/associations to sought their collaboration and approval beforehand to conduct various activities (e.g to have the participation and release of students…)
  • The Gender Balance in MCVP has shown the advancement of women into decision making roles.
Video Evidence

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