MAURITIUS: Dr. Vasant Bunwaree

Date: September 6, 2018
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“Equal pay for equal work”

Whether you are a man or a woman there should be equal work for equal pay was the leitmotiv of Dr. Vasant Kumar Bunwaree at the political dialogue organised by Gender Links in March 2018. He was the one who made sure that this became legal.

Well known Cardiologist, Dr. Bunwaree was Minister of Labour followed by Minister of Finance and Minister of Education. He held Ministerial positions from 1996 to 2014. He also served as Vice President and Secretary General of the Mauritian Labour Party. During his tenure as Ministers he brought several bold reforms. He was the one who presented the New Labour Laws in Parliament and this was voted as the the Employment Rights Act (2008) and the Employment Relations Act (2008).

Although a well-known and very busy Minister, Dr. Bunwaree made it a point to attend all the events of Gender Links specially in his constituency. He participated in the 16 days campaign of GL a few times in Mahebourg. He even asked about the possibility of GL opening an office in Mahebourg.

Even in his very busy schedule as a full time Cardiologist and Head of a political party, “Mouvement Travalliste Militant”, Dr. Bunwaree found the time to attend the political dialogue organised by Gender Links in collaboration with MACOSS on Thursday 15th March 2018.

GL seized this opportunity to ask him about his experience on the road he travelled with Gender Links. “I really appreciate the tenacity of Gender Links. I have not seen many organisations like yours. You believe in what you do and you are so focused. Yes, I still remember how I attended and participated in your events.”

Dr. Bunwaree believes that women should put themselves forward. “Women can become leaders of political parties. It is too easy for political parties to criticize but women must take up to the challenge. Women must show that they too have their voices. I know it is not easy as we have mindset to change.”

For Dr. Bunwaree GL should do some research on the behavior of people to know their mentality. “The way people think and act in society and especially their look on women and the political atmosphere in general must be looked into. You must be able to criticize when need me. When I was Minister of Labour I did put in the law that there must be equal pay for equal work but if this is not being implemented it is for women to raise their voice.”