Mauritius: Jeanne Ambal

Date: June 10, 2019
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Name Ambal
Surname Jeanne
Country Mauritius
Give a short history of the leader Ambal Jeanne, since her younger days, has been out there on the streets fighting for the rights of students and of women. Driven by the idealistic desire to bring a change in society, she also joined a political party which she eventually left.
Ambal was a public officer for almost 20 years but she decided to thread another path and join another fight, a fight for women. She herself witnessed the sufferings of her mother who was a victim of domestic violence and this pushed her on a journey to reclaim women’s rights. Her mother has been the one who made her into the strong woman whom she is today. Today, Ambal holds the reins of SOS Femmes as the Manager.
On 8th March 1989, Ambal along with a group of women launched a Women’s Advice Centre with the support of Mr Jean Claude De L’Estrac. The Centre offered women a safe space where they could seek advice on their legal, medical and psychological problems.
While working with these women, the team eventually became exposed of a harsh reality which pervades Mauritian society: seven out of ten of the women seeking advice were victims of domestic violence and they often suffered in isolation with no safe space to seek refuge at. There was not a single battered women’s refuge in Mauritius and the team working at the Centre had to continuously send these women back to the violent and unsafe domestic situations from which they were running away. Faced with such brutal reality, the team launched SOS femmes, a non-profit, independent and non-government organisation. Centre Des Femmes eventually became SOS Femmes and one of its main aims is to provide a temporary refuge for battered women and their underage children.
Objectives The vision & mission of Ambal relates to her work as the Head of the SOS Femmes which are as followed:
Manage the shelterEnsure sustainability of the shelter since 1990 the opening the shelter

Built our own building

Implement the children services

Lobby for the Protection for domestic violence act

Implement the educational and sensitization campaign all year round

Work in collaboration with other stake holders

Key activities SOS femmes is the only specialised organisation offering a refuge for victims of domestic violence and their children in Mauritius and it operates a telephone service on a 7/24 basis for cases of domestic violence. The NGO also run a nursery and an afterschool care service for its residents and ex-residents on 24/7 basis. It lobbies for laws to protect and promote women’s rights and for non-discriminatory practices against women. SOS Femmes is endeavouring to build a culture of non-violence and gender equality. Ambal believes that this culture can be forged through school-based programmes, community and media interventions, awareness campaigns and stronger legal frameworks.
Key challenges n/a


Change at the individual level N/A
Evidence of change at the individual level N/A
Change at the household level N/A
Evidence of change at the household level N/A
Change at institutional level
Evidence of change at institutional level
Change at a policy level (1) Have lobbied for the Prevention against domestic violence Act and collaborate for amendments of this Act.

(2) Collaboration for the Gender Equality Bill.

Evidence of change at a policy level N/A
Capacity building (1) Promoting gender equality is a critical part of violence prevention.

(2) School initiatives are well placed to prevent violence against women.
School-based programmes can address gender norms and attitudes before they become deeply ingrained in children and youth. Such initiatives address gender norms, dating violence and sexual abuse among teenagers and young adults

(3)Community interventions can empower women and engage with men.
Community programmes with male peer groups show promise in changing attitudes towards traditional gender norms and violent behaviour,

(4)Media interventions can alter gender norms and promote women’s rights.

(5)Public awareness campaigns :
Public awareness campaigns and other interventions delivered via television, radio, newspapers and other mass media can be effective for altering attitudes towards gender norms.

(6)Laws and policies to promote gender equality:
The development of international and national legal frameworks that promote gender equality can play an important role in preventing violence against women.

Lessons learned and shared Having     Selflessness , Compassion, committed and passionate by the fundamental right of women rights to live a peaceful life drive me to continue the struggle to make changes . Being trained to be able to deliver professional practice.Please show how your leadership skills have impacted at individual, community and policy level.

I have empowered myself to be a feminist activist against violence towards women and girls.

Campaign so that women victims of violence do not feel shame and guilt and come forward for help.

Successfully campaign and lobby for the « Protection from Domestic violence Act » and collaboration for the various amended brought to the

Next Steps Work with all stakeholders concern to provide an holistic support and assistance to survival of DV.Create a network of civil society and state agents for the rehabilitation and integration of victims survivors.

Target and analyse the different group in the community for the sensitization campaign and then to devise appropriate material and methodology.

Lobby the government to provide support and facilities to enable victims/survivors built a new life free of violence