Mauritius: Mohinee Bali

Date: June 18, 2019
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Name Mohinee
Surname Bali
Country Mauritius
Give a short history of the leader The journey started in 1991 when I joined the Ministry of Women’s Rights, Child Development and Family Welfare as Coordinator of the Women’s Unit. At that time, the Women’s Unit was primarily implementing programmes through its network of four Women Centres and about 500 Women Associations affiliated to the National Women’s Council. I then started organizing programmes focused on women’s social empowerment using a “Women in Development” approach. Training in traditional courses as well as talks related to women’s daily livelihoods were the main strategies used to empower women. Recreational and leisure activities were also used to get women out of their homes. However the pioneer was in 1991, during the organisation of a “National Sports Day”, which was a first for the Mauritian women as well as for the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare. In view of its success, the Ministry of Youth and Sports decided to set up a ” Commission Nationale du Sports Feminin”.
Objectives My personal commitment is to translate Government’s pledges at Beijing into Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound (SMART) actions, which became ” mon cheval de bataille”. Beijing Conference was the turning point for changing gears for the re-orientation of our interventions regarding “Gender Equality and Women’ Empowerment”- (GEWE). The conference paved way for a paradigm shift from a ” Women in Development” to a ” Gender Development Approach”.
Hence, the Beijing Platform for Action served as a spring board to bring about further changes in women’s status, which stuck with me as my personal commitment.
Key activities 1) The setting up of the Family Welfare and Protection Unit in 2003 and which has as mandate to promote family welfare and address the scourge of gender based violence within the family settings;
2) The enactment of the Protection from Domestic Violence Act in 1997 aimed at providing protection to spouses, victims of violence;
3) The enactment of the National Women Entrepreneur Council Act in 1999 aimed at promoting women entrepreneurship development for women’s economic empowerment;
4) Conducting nation-wide campaigns on the “Gender Concept” with various stakeholders, including men and women; boys and girls. Innovative tools for the purpose to make the campaigns more attractive were also devised.
Key challenges The main challenges were:
1) Buy-in of the GEWE agenda from all quarters;
2) Mobilization for adequate resources to keep the momentum going;
3) Having a pool of experts in the domain to facilitate gender mainstreaming; and to ensure that the “Gender Concept” becomes ” common currency”.


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 N/A
Evidence of change at institutional level N/A
Change at a policy level 1) spearheading of the repealing of the National Women’s Council Act of 1985 which resulted in the enactment of a new NWC Act in 2016, which was promulgated in 2018;
2) The adoption of the National Gender Policy Framework(NGPF) in 2008, which serves as a generic document for stakeholders i.e the public sector; private sector; media, academia and civil society organisations to adopt a gender mainstreaming approach within their respective institutions and mandates.
3) Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiative was well received by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. Five (5) Ministries were allocated an amount of US$5,000 in the Budget Speech 2016/2017 as an entry point to address specific gender gaps within their respective mandates. Subsequently, all Ministries have benefitted from this allocation in the years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.
Evidence of change at a policy level N/A
Capacity building 1) Organized capacity building programs by initiating a training of trainers program on international and regional human rights instruments related to women’s empowerment and gender and development.
2) Conducted nation-wide campaigns on the “Gender Concept” with various stakeholders, including men and women; boys and girls. Innovative tools for the purpose to make the campaigns more attractive were also devised.
Lessons learned and shared The international community has provided us with yet another opportunity to consolidate our gains for GEWE.I find the slogan ” leaving no- one behind” as aptly stated by the former United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban ki- Moon very attractive and inspiring.

And this is precisely what has further inspired me to expand my scope of intervention by working with the private sector, the academia, the Media and Civil Society Organisations.
Last but not least, engaging the Youth as Game Changers for GEWE through the setting up of Gender Networks in Secondary Schools is my most recent initiative.

Next Steps A quote from Edith Wharton who said – “There are two ways of spreading light- to be a Candle Or to be the mirror that reflects it”.
I have chosen to be the Candle, and I am still on that journey!