Jean Yves Dasant – Mauritius

Jean Yves Dasant – Mauritius

Date: June 30, 2015
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The workshop that Gender Links facilitated has been an experience of a lifetime for Dasant. “I was amazed, and did not realise that I was not reading the newspapers properly. But the exercise that my group had to do on analysing an article on children selling goods in the streets made me realise that journalists miss great opportunities to write articles to educate the community. I read between the lines. There are a lot of hidden messages and lots of missing messages in article. Gender Links taught me how to analyse an article well; how the media can educate the community. I will, henceforth, read news from a different angle, with a critical eye.”

This was Dasant Jean Yves’ first encounter with Gender Links. He was very attentive during the whole workshop because he wanted to know more about Gender Links and all the good work that the organisation was doing in the community. He was learning so much at the workshop that he felt comfortable asking a lot of questions. He wanted to make sure that he had a good grasp of all the issues that were being discussed. This was the first time he had heard about verbal violence. He believes that people take so many things for granted that they do not even know that there can be violence in the way people talk. He said that the workshop has encouraged him to share what he has learned.

The workshop allowed Dasant to engage better with District and Village Councillors. He found the networking a fantastic experience. He has been able to talk to them about issues that concern the community. “This workshop is really food for thought. I will now discuss with the community to see how we can deal with everyday problems in the village, for example, violence, the environment, and getting people to live in a healthy environment.” Being a taxi driver, Dasant told Gender Links that he is well positioned to raise awareness and advocate on topical issues with his clients, including tourists, and encourage them to keep Mauritius clean.

The gender concept is new to Dasant. He said that having grasped this concept and being aware of the difference between sex and gender has an impact on his life. He now realises that both women and men have been put into little boxes, and the gender concept will help him to help others to get out of the box. Verbal violence is something that has really marked him for life, and he said “I will now think twice and mind my language before talking to anyone, most importantly my wife.”

From now on, his vision has improved; he sees things with a gender lens. Whenever he hears about Gender Links, he immediately thinks about the things he learnt during this workshop. He will now encourage people to learn more about the work of Gender Links and their campaigns, and encourage them to help Gender Links to meet its target and objectives.

In his opening speech at the Mauritius National Summit, Honorable Herve Aimee, Minister of Local Government and outer Islands, said that “if our economy is now stagnant, women have the upper hand.” However, living in a patriarchal society, we have completely disregarded women, and it is the nation’s duty to give women her deserved status and position in society. Women have proven to us that they can have equal say in decision making and that they can take responsibility like man despite being in a male dominating society.” The opening speech of the Minister had a great impact on Dasant. He said he will henceforth keep this speech at the back of his mind and make efforts to help women.

“I would like to seize this opportunity to voice my appreciation and my gratitude to the GL Francophone Director, Loga Virahsawmy. She has been a source of inspiration and has brought up important issues, especially on domestic violence.”

Through working with Gender Links, Dasant has been able to develop his critical skills and increase his general knowledge. He learnt a lot from the perception and attitudes of the survey of “War @ Home”. He said that the nature of his work makes him come across a wide range of people from different cultures and backgrounds, and this workshop has given him the opportunity to look at problems from a different angle so that he can discuss them. For him, the workshop was also a great networking opportunity, as he could share ideas with councillors both at the District level and the village level.

Now that Dasant has a good grasp of gender based violence, he realises that women are more affected by GBV than men. “When a person is talking about domestic violence, it is normally women who are affected, but we should not forget that men as well as children are equally concerned; it is an issue for all of society.” Dasant went on to say that more men should participate in this kind of workshop. On the other hand, he knows that he will put into practice what he has leant, and hopefully by raising awareness, this will have an influence on other people’s lives. “Violence is a worrying phenomenon.”

Having attended this workshop, Dasant’s aim now is to promote awareness campaigns together with other District Counsellors about how to combat Gender Based Violence. Dasant also hopes that the same workshop will be done in his village, Flic en Flac.

Having attended this workshop, Dansant has gained knowledge, and has a broader understanding of gender concepts. He is now eager to embark on a new adventure, having acquired much information to share with his family, surroundings and customers. He is happy and satisfied having attended this seminar, and is very pleased with Gender Links’ work.


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