Mauritius – Time to focus the gender lens on local government

Date: January 1, 1970
  • SHARE:

Quatre Bornes 15 June: It is time for a comprehensive strategy to address the gender gaps in local government. This is the key message to emerge from a four day workshop on mainstreaming gender in local government following the launch in of “At the Coalface: Gender and Local Government in Southern Africa .À

Organised by the Ministry of Local Government in partnership with Media Watch Organisation and the South African-based Gender Links the workshop brought together 25 councillors and officials from district, municipal and village councils from around . 
The study launched on 11 June revealed that women comprise a mere 6.4 percent of councillors in , among the lowest in Southern Africa . By contrast, has 58% women in local government; 42% and 40%. “At the Coalface” concludes that there is no reason why any country in Southern Africa should not achieve 50% women in local government by 2015. 
The draft Southern African Protocol on Gender and Development to be presented to Heads of State from the region in August sets a target of gender parity in all areas of decision-making by 2015.  
Speaking at the launch, Dr. the Honourable James Burty David, Minister of Local Government, said “there are no legal barriers to women’s participation, the only barrier is an invisible monster but in all mythologies throughout the world monsters are defeated.” 
Participants in the subsequent workshop have drafted a gender strategy for local government covering a broad range of areas. These include measures to: 

  • Ensure gender balance in all areas of local government, including the administration of local government.
  • Enhance the effective participation of women in local government, through ensuring that they occupy leadership positions and have the confidence to speak out in meetings.
  • Enhance the participation of women and men in communities in the work of local government.
  • Mount campaigns at the local level for ending gender violence and for the prevention of HIV and AIDS.
  • Ensure that women and men benefit equally from jobs created by local government as well as procurement and business opportunities.
  • Ensure that women are equally consulted and benefit from the services delivered by local government, including lighting, sewerage and refuse removal.
  • Make use of sports and recreational facilities operated by local government to challenge gender stereotypes and promote gender equality.
  • Ensure that council budgets have specific allocations for advancing the status of women in society as well as ensure that women and men benefit equally from mainstream budget allocations.
  • Introduce gender indicators in planning, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Establish gender focal points in all councils as part of the national gender machinery.
  • Raise gender awareness and provide gender sensitivity training to all councillors and staff.
  • Ensure that the measures to promote gender mainstreaming in local government are reflected in the National Gender Policy that is currently being revised.       

The draft strategy has been forwarded to the Minister of Local Government. Once adopted, the partners will work with a team of facilitators to translate the strategy into action plans in all municipalities, district and local councils.

Click here to view the draft strategy

Loga Virahsawmy
Chair, Media Watch Organisation-GEMSA
Tel/Fax – 4661643 – e-mail :

Comment on Mauritius – Time to focus the gender lens on local government

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *