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AfricaMoney | August 23, 2017

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Mauritian women turn from survivors to entrepreneurs

Mauritian women turn from survivors to entrepreneurs

The aim of the Entrepreneurship Training Programme is to economically empower women, helping to increase their agency and independence. (Source: Alamy)

Over the last three weeks, Gender Links (GL) helped change the lives of 64 women, with the roll out of a weeklong Entrepreneurship Training Programme for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) at Curepipe, Vacoas, Moka, Grand Port and Black River.

There is a growing belief that to achieve gender equality, women’s economic status must be improved. One of the biggest challenges in achieving gender equality is GBV, and economically disempowered women are less able to escape this abuse.

The programme, which is now underway in 100 councils in nine other Southern African counties, teaches survivors of GBV a combination of applied life and entrepreneurial skills as well as basic business and IT knowledge.

Anushka Virahsawmy, GL Country Manager and Course Facilitator, explains that the participants were comfortable with perusing the training manual, fact sheets and case studies translated in Creole. In particular, they found the market and money session as well as the IT session very empowering, she added.

GL has conducted a ‘Violence Against Women’ study in six SADC countries – Botswana, Mauritius, four provinces of South Africa, four districts of Zambia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. In his forward to the War @ Home – Mauritius Report, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius, stated, “Gender-based violence is a human rights violation and reflects inequality between women and men. Such violence has profound implications on the health, dignity, security and autonomy of those affected not only the victims but also the entire family.”

The aim of the Entrepreneurship Training Programme is to economically empower women, helping to increase their agency and independence. This programme seeks to elevate women and others across the region from being dependent wives and survivors of violence to the level of successful and independent entrepreneurs.

To ensure the success and sustainability of the programme, the National Empowerment Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GL, Mauritius. Mireille Martin, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, as well as Indira Seebun, Managing Director of Small and Media Enterprise Development Authority also promised their support to the programme.

Source: Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service

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