Gender Unit, as the National Gender Machinery, is established as the lead agency for the oversight, coordination, monitoring and evaluation
of gender mainstreaming of policies, strategies and programmes at national level.
The overarching principle of the Gender Unit is to adopt a Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) that entails a process of non-discrimination,
equal participation, inclusion, accountability and the rule of law, which remains the foundation of social justice.
Gender Unit has, as main objectives to work towards the attainment of gender equality and women's empowerment. This process entails a dual
3. Main Programmes
A. Policy Level
(i) Gender in Development and Mainstreaming
Gender Unit is called upon to harmonise policies with international and regional human rights Instruments related to women's empowerment and
gender equality, as well as ensure follow up and provide regular reports, thereon. These instruments include, inter alia, the following:
(a) International Instruments:
(b) Regional Instruments
Compendium of International and Regional Instruments for the promotion of gender equality (2014).
(ii) National Mechanism for Gender Mainstreaming
(a) National Gender Policy Framework (2008)
a bid to ensure that both men and women's strategic needs, interests and concerns are taken into account whilst
formulating/implementing/monitoring policies and programmes, Government adopted the National Gender Policy Framework (NGPF) in 2008. (link to
NGPF serves as a generic document that provides guidelines to the public and private sectors, the NGOs, Media and stakeholders on the need
to mainstream gender in their sectoral policies. All Ministries have formulated their sectoral gender policy statements to ensure that a
gender perspective permeates within their respective sectors.
new National Gender Policy for 2020-2030, which is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals and responsive to the vision of the
Government is underway.
(b) National Steering Committee A National Steering Committee on Gender Mainstreaming (NSCGM) was set up in June 2010 following
a Cabinet decision, with a view to monitor the implementation of the National Gender Policy Framework in all sectoral Ministries. This
committee provides a platform for representatives of Ministries, i.e the Gender Focal Points to give feedback on the implementation of their
sectoral gender policies; as well as learn and share best practices on gender issues.
NSCGM also enable Gender Focal Points to be apprised of emerging gender issues at international and regional levels, as well as follow-up to
the implementation of CEDAW recommendations; review report on the Beijing Platform for Action; follow up on the implementation of the set
targets of the Sustainable Development Goals; and reporting on the Maputo Protocol.
(c) Gender Cells
the same vein, Cabinet approved the setting up of Gender Cells in July 2010 in line Ministries to institutionalise a structure that is
sustainable over time whilst ensuring that the concept of gender permeates in all policies and performances of Government. The aim of
this initiative is to have senior officers of various Units/ Departments within Ministries to attend to gender equality issues, 'in lieu of' having only one(1) officer to deal with gender issues.
(iii) Implementation of the Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiative
Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Welfare advocated for the introduction of the Gender Responsive Budgeting Initiative (GRBI).
Subsequently, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has, in the budgetary measures for financial 2016-2017, allocated Rs 200, 000 on a pilot basis to five (5) Ministries for the implementation of gender sensitive initiatives.
Ministries are namely, Health and Quality of Life; Youth and Sports; Civil Service and Administrative Reforms; Education and Human Resources,
Tertiary Education and Scientific Research; to the Environment and Sustainable Development Division of the Ministry of Social Security,
National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development and they have implemented specific projects to address gender gaps within
their respective sectors.
light of the positive feedback received, the Ministry of Gender Equality sustained its advocacy with the Ministry of Finance and
Economic Development and the latter has introduced in the budget 2017/2018- one “Vote Item: Gender Mainstreaming in Government's Programmes/Policies" in all Ministries budgetary allocations, whereby funds to the tune of US$5600 have been allotted.
Ministry of Gender Equality has, subsequently, worked closely with a number of Ministries by providing them with entry points regarding the
implementation of specific projects and activities.
(iv) Legal Framework
(a) Gender Equality Bill
Gender Equality Bill is presently under preparation which aims to eliminate gender-based discrimination in the Republic of Mauritius. And
for this to be effective, it requires good governance through accountability mechanism to realise gender justice. The formal process,
through the law is aimed at achieving substantive equality outcomes.
is in fulfilment of the Mauritius international and regional obligations through the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the African Maputo Protocol. It makes distinction between sex and gender discrimination.
(b) National Women's Council Act (2016)
(c) National Women Entrepreneur Council Act
B. Implementation Level
(i) Women Empowerment Centres: A place for every women to come; network and get empowered.
Gender Unit also operates through its decentralized network of Women Centres, which were revamped into Women Empowerment Centres in 2016, as a
matter of priority and re-oriented its activities and projects so that these contribute effectively towards women's empowerment.
are 14 Women Empowerment Centres (Click here for link) across the island which provide an appropriate and exclusive environment, relevant
to the needs of our women folk, where they can come together to gain confidence; develop skills; participate in training; get support;
organize group meetings, activities and access other services. The ultimate goal is to offer services that empower women to be “at par" with men.
since last year, the Gender Unit has witnessed a paradigm shift in service delivery whereby programmes and activities are being extended to
other target groups including women and girls in deprived regions, reaching out to students in secondary schools as well as implementation
of activities for the elderly.
Courses dispensed by the National Women's Council
Courses dispensed by Home Economics Unit
Implementation of Projects/Courses by the Gender Unit
Awareness campaigns on gender and other thematics
(ii) Social Empowerment
In line with the Sustainable Development Goal 5 to ''Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls'', the Gender Unit is implementing the following:
(a) 3 E's Project- Empowerment through Education and Entertainment
November 2017, the Gender Unit has been implementing this project which targets girls and young women (aged between 13 – 29 years) in deprived
regions. The aim is to empower the participants on various pertinent issues related to their well-being and livelihoods.
topics/activities comprised, inter alia: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights ; Personal Development; Values; Crime Prevention; Road
Safety; Drug and Substance Abuse; Teen Depression and Leisure activities. These are facilitated by Family Welfare and Protection
Officers of the Gender Unit and Resource Persons from other institutions. So far, 600 girls and young women have benefitted from the project.
(b) Goal Programme
Goal programme, an initiative of the Standard Chartered Bank was launched by the Gender Unit and the institution on 24 July 2017 for
implementation in Women Empowerment Centres. The objective is to empower girls aged 13 to 18 years old, who are mostly school drops or still
attending school through the modules of the Programme that include, inter alia, Be yourself; Be Healthy; Be Empowered and Be Money Savvy so
that the can make informed life choices for a period of 9 weeks. The Programme is being facilitated by officers of the Gender Unit. This programme has, so far, reached out to some 700 beneficiaries.
(c) Addressing intersectionality- Elderly WomenOutdoor and indoor activities are regularly been organised for the elderly and lonely women.
(iii) Capacity building programmes on Gender related issues
a bid to ensure that the concept of gender is well understood by all stakeholders and the public at large, the Gender Unit has consolidated
its capacity building programmes, sas well as its awareness campaigns; using innovative tools such as snake and ladders; picture chit chat;
story book: 'Beyond pink and blue'; Gender Equality Domino; and short video clips and targeting various audiences namely:
(iv) Awareness campaigns
Gender Unit organises awareness raising campaigns in Women Empowerment Centres, Community Centres and Social Welfare Centres with different
target audience on several thematic which include inter-alia the
'gender concept', 'women rights as human rights' 'women and health', 'women and poverty' and 'women and environment', amongst others to
enable them to keep abreast of pertinent information that will improve their livelihoods.
(v) Economic Empowerment
The Ministry, through the Gender Unit and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Secretariat hosted the “IORA
Workshop to Strengthen Women's Economic Empowerment in the Indian Ocean – Preparations for the Ministerial Conference and Working Group," on 3 – 4 May 2018 at the Pearle Beach Hotel, Flic-en-Flac as well as the First IORA Ministerial Conference on 'Women Economic Empowerment: A Pre-requisite for Sustainable Development on 28 – 29 August 2018 at the Ravenala Attitude, Balaclava.
IORA Working Group on Women's Economic Empowerment was launched at the Conference, whereby Mauritius was elected as chair for 2018 -2019 and
re-convened in the same position for 2019 – 2020. The Working Group is implementing an IORA Work Plan on Women Economic Empowerment which aims
at sharing experiences and provide opportunities to women of the IORA community for their economic empowerment.
(vi) Political Empowerment
Gender Unit has been, over the last few years, sustained its capacity building programmes/ awareness sessions on the need for an increase
participation of women in decision making positions. To that end, the Gender Unit has recourse to relevant Resource Persons to facilitate
training/ awareness sessions. The Gender Unit is presently collaborating with the UNDP, in conducting a Programme entitled 'L.E.A.D':
'Leadership, Empowerment, Advocacy and Development' which aims at equipping women with the relevant leadership skills.