Call for Mauritian women to participate in politics

Call for Mauritian women to participate in politics

Date: April 26, 2012
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Mauritians at the just ended Third Gender Justice and Local Government Summit have called for the inclusion of women in political decision-making saying women have a lot to offer the electorate. Currently, women constitute 6.4% of those in local government in the country.

“Women have so much potential and bring different perspectives to development. Along with their male counterparts, they will undoubtedly bring change,” said Shenaz Sooba, an executive member of the Labour Party. She added that women understand issues that affect the community much better than men. As a woman, she says she has always fulfilled her mandate in the community development association that she works for.

“Women should fight for more female participation in politics. We have to agree that men are not the only ones who can bring change. The Mauritian Prime Minister, Navin Ramgoolam is pushing for legal reforms to encourage more women to contest for political posts. The recent Local Government Act of 2011 is one such instrument that will be brought to test in the upcoming elections. Mauritians will be monitoring if the instrument is going to increase women’s political participation.

Sooba is convinced that women and men should work together for the progress of the country. Sweety Fallee, municipal councilor at the Municipality of Curepine, expressed similar sentiments saying that the perception that “politics is dirty” needs to be changed.

“Getting into politics or not is a personal decision that women have to make. Nonetheless, I believe that women have the strength to resist political pressure and be able to make decisions. Once a woman makes a decision, she sticks to it,” I can now open up to other people,” Fallee added.

Fallee is convinced that many women will join politics in Mauritius in the near future. However, she cautions, that the balance between personal life and political engagement should be maintained.

Lovena Sowkhee, deputy mayor at the Municipal Council of Beau-Bassin/ Rose-Hill, points out that it is of utmost importance that women join politics in Mauritius. “To a greater extent, women understand each others problems and will therefore work hard to solve these problems. For Sowkhee, politics has given her unprecedented opportunities. She is encouraging more women to join politics.

Priyadarshinee Luckoo is a reporter from Defi Media Group in Mauritius. This article is part of GL Opinion and Commentary Service, special news and analysis series of the 2012 Gender Justice and Local Government Summit


One thought on “Call for Mauritian women to participate in politics”

Sooba says:

Great work we did

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