Assembly learns of Seychelles’ success in gender equality and mainstreaming


Seychelles has also prepared its first report which highlights all measures put in place and progress achieved in carrying out this convention, the Minister responsible for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Vincent Meriton informed the Assembly in a statement recently.

At regional level, Mr Meriton said Seychelles has ratified the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development.

Mr Meriton informed the Assembly that the SADC Protocol has 28 targets which all member countries has to attain by the year 2015.

Highlighting the fact that over the years government has put in place different policies and programmes which have allowed for more equality between women and men, Mr Meriton noted though that there still remains a lot of work to be done before Seychelles could meet all the targets set in the Protocol.

Among some of the country’s recent achievements which Mr Meriton noted are;
• the 5th ranking position in the world with the largest proportion of women in the Assembly. Seychelles has 14 women out of the 32 seats in the Assembly and this represents 44% which is just under the target of 50% set by the SADC Protocol.

This is comparable to countries like the UK which ranks 53rd and our neighbour Mauritius which is ranked 70th.

“This shows the remarkable progress our small country has achieved,” Mr Meriton stressed.
• Seychelles’ 4th position in 54 countries in the Commonwealth classification as the best place for a girl to be born.

“This highlights the successes of the different policies and programmes where everyone without exception has free access to education and health services,” the minister said. 
• In its gender barometre which is issued every year SADC last year ranked Seychelles 1st among the 15 member states. Mr Meriton again noted that this clearly shows the level of progress which has been made in our effort to reach the 28 targets set by the SADC Protocol and it also highlights the government’s commitment to work towards closing the gap of equality between women and men.

In the statement to the Assembly Mr Meriton also touched on the various progress made by the Gender Secretariat and these include;
• the drafting of the first National Gender Policy and Action plan which are expected to be launched soon

• a manual on gender base violence to help service delivery agencies do their work better is being finalised

• the Gender Secretariat is coordinating a gender education programme for judges and magistrates, lawyers and politicians  on international human rights treaties more specifically the CEDAW and the SADC Protocol on gender.

• the Gender Secretariat has also launched the campaign Unite for peace to end gender based violence which is a component of the regional project  Africa Unite to end Violence against women and girls which is a United Nations programme.

• the country is preparing to defend for the first time next year the government’s report on the CEDAW at the office of the high commissioner on human rights.

“This will be a great challenge for Seychelles because it is more than 20 years since we have signed the Convention,” said the minister.

He said with all the work that is being done by the Gender Secretariat the country will be able through more partner collaboration realise its objectives.

“This will allow us to bring about the necessary transformation in line with the social renaissance campaign which is being promoted nationally,” said the minister.