Source: Africa Review
Mauritius is set to launch a National Women's Council Bill to boost their empowerment and fair representation in high offices, official said.

It will also promote women's gender equality through consultation with government officials.

Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare Mireille Martin, stated that the proposed Bill, would further promote women's agenda politically and socially.

"Gender equality is an important component of government's policies and action. Mauritius has taken various commitments pertaining to gender equality at regional and international levels and hence has the duty and responsibility to eliminate inequality between women and men."

Currently, there were more than 1,200 Women's Associations, representing 30,000 women in Mauritius. The figures were expected to grow according to government statistics.

Marie-Noelle Elissac of Women in Networking (WIN), a consortium of associations, said that it was time women had better representation in politics and government in general.

"Women make up over 50 per cent of the population here and we are already a majority here, and around the world, in most countries, it's about time to change our ways, it's a matter of perception and this is changing, we are not a minority," she said.

According to WIN, 50/50 representation of women in all areas of decision-making by 2015 should be attained.

Mauritius had one of the lowest representations of women in Cabinet (10 per cent) in the African region.

The country improved its position at the last elections in 2006 with 17.1 per cent of seats in Parliament being held by women.

Mauritius fell far behind the SADC endorsement of 30 per cent.

The proposed Bill comes after the introduction new gender quota law in January, prescribing that at least one-third of the candidates in elections at the local level must be women.

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