The first IORA Ministerial Conference on Women’s Economic Empowerment – A Pre-requisite for Sustainable Development was held on 28-29 August 2018 at the Ravenala Hotel, Balaclava, Mauritius. This Conference assembled Ministers and senior officials responsible for Gender/Women’s Affairs of IORA Member States and Dialogue Partners to strengthen IORA’s women’s economic empowerment agenda.
In his inaugural Address, Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, stated, “women’s economic empowerment should be at the core of IORA and it is critical to gauge the patterns that are based on inequalities. This Conference offers the right platform to address unsustainable policies and adopt a unified approach”
The Hon. Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands and Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare of the Republic of Mauritius, remarked “that the Working Group for Women’s Empowerment will be a powerful mechanism for regional collaboration on gender equality”. Australia and Mauritius will co-chair the new Working Group for a period of two years.
Member States developed a Work Plan for the newly established Working Group with six pillars: Skills and Capacity Building; Innovation and Technology; Research Based Initiatives; Networking; Resource Mobilisation; and Access to Finance and Market Opportunities.