The IORA workshop to Strengthen Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Indian Ocean – Preparations for the Ministerial Conference and Working Group was held on 3-4 May, 2018 at the Pearle Beach Hotel, Mauritius by the Honorable Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, the Mauritian Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare.
In her opening remarks, Honorable Mrs Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus stated “Women’s Economic Empowerment remains the cornerstone of Sustainable Development. Women’s Economic Empowerment entails multiple gains, ranging from greater productivity; increased employment; poverty alleviation; women’s increased agency; enhanced livelihoods and economic growth”.
This preparatory workshop assembled senior officials from Gender/Women Affairs Ministries of IORA Member States to prepare for the upcoming IORA Ministerial Conference on Women’s Economic Empowerment to be held later this year in July 2018. The workshop was also instrumental in developing Terms of Reference for the Working Group for Women’s Economic Empowerment which is a flagship initiative from the IORA Action Plan for 2017-21 and will be launched in the margins of the Ministerial Meeting.
Key topics included: integrating women’s empowerment across IORA’s priority areas particularly the Blue Economy, building linkages with international organisations and partners for strong regional cooperation and developing recommendations for creating an IORA Women’s Business Forum.
The workshop was attended by 17 Member States, 5 Dialogue Partners, international organizations such as UNWOMEN, the International Trade Centre and representatives from national chambers of commerce and industry. Participants affirmed that the prosperity of the region will only be realised fully by investing in the empowerment of women and the importance of mainstreaming gender equality.