Monday, May 25, 2015

Africa Day 2015 - Year of Women Empowerment and Development Towards Agenda 2063
Government of Mauritius

Over the years, the condition of women in Africa has certainly improved from what it used to be. Female life expectancy is increasing, more girls are going to school, more women are in paid workforce and many African countries have introduced laws to protect women's rights.

However, still more remains to be done in terms of participation of women in decision making instances, addressing gender based violence, and respecting the rights of women in the social, economic and political domains.

This statement is part of the message of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Etienne Sinatambou, on the occasion of Africa Day 2015 which is observed on May 25.

In his message the Minister underlines that it has been acknowledged and reiterated, time and again, how women are the pillars of a successful development process.

The theme for this year, "2015 Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063", is thus timely as it gives gender mainstreaming a renewed momentum to harness political leadership and overcome gaps and challenges pertaining to gender disparities. The theme further adds value to the proclamation of the years 2010-2020 as the African Women's Decade.

Minister Sinatambou outlines that a fundamental area where women's participation is most meaningful is peace and security decision-making, both during and after peace negotiations. Hence, while implementing the flagship project of Africa Agenda 2063 on the silencing of guns by 2020, the participation of women and girls in all peace and security processes and structures will be strongly encouraged.

He further emphasised that recognising that women remain a most important pillar for accelerated growth, Mauritius has placed women at the heart of its development. Various legislations pertaining to women's rights have been enacted and policies and programmes have been devised to uplift the status of the Mauritian womenfolk.

Government is determined to consolidate and sustain its interventions and aims to see more individuals, institutions, the community and society at large supporting women's empowerment and gender equality.

The Minister concluded by stating that the celebration of Africa Day today marks the opening of new opportunities to renew our commitment and political will at the national and Continental levels and to unleash the full potential of women. Hence, Africa Agenda 2063 translates "Africa Rising" from myth to reality and gender mainstreaming will no more remain a mere rhetoric.

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