Revealing the Hidden Realities: « A Call to action against Gender-Based Violence »

Dr DEEPA DEVI SONAH Medical Doctor, Mpower!

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Hon. Mrs. Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development, and Family Welfare, emphasized, ‘Un cas de violence domestique est un cas de trop’—one case of domestic violence is one case too many.

Her statement followed a compelling presentation of alarming gender-based violence statistics in response to a Private Notice Question raised by Hon. Xavier Luc Duval on October 31, 2023.

The statistics paint a stark picture:
Globally, 1 in 3 women faces physical or sexual violence in her lifetime.
In 2023, 4 homicides by intimate partners have occurred, with one case linked to domestic violence.
In 2022, 7 homicides by intimate partners were recorded, one of which had a history of domestic violence.
Since November 2020, 3351 panic alerts were registered on the Lespwar mobile application.
In 2022, 8600 cases of gender-based violence were reported, while 7000 cases were reported in 2023.

Addressing the concerning trends, the Minister highlighted the establishment of a national data observatory. However, the Leader of the Opposition also raised valid concerns.
In 2016, there were 7000 domestic violence cases, with 500 protection orders issued, while in 2022, only 234 protection orders were issued for 8600 cases of domestic violence.
In 2016, 2300 cases proceeded to court, whereas in 2022, only 1300 cases reached court.
In 2022, only two occupation orders were issued, significantly fewer than the number in 2016.

In response, MPower!, our dedicated NGO, has intensified its efforts. Our team of lawyers, doctors, and social workers persistently advocates the elimination of violence against women. We strive to foster a robust dialogue against this grave human rights violation, recognizing that the battle is far from over.
We firmly believe in the importance of statistics as crucial tools for comprehensive analysis.

To this end, we advocate for the establishment of a data repository on gender-based violence statistics, enabling seamless synchronization among various organizations. Real-time, accurate data must be made accessible. Statistics, often viewed as mere numbers, must be dissected to unveil causal relationships, guiding responsible bodies in policy-making.

Mpower is at the forefront of this crucial conversation and we lead the dialogue at a workshop entitled ‘Feminicide and Gender-Based Violence in Mauritius and under the Maputo Protocol’ on November 18th at Grand Baie. A panel consisting of lawyers, doctors, psychologists and social workers are contributing to this conversation by bringing different perspectives in order to find solutions that work to combat feminicide and gender-based violence. A human right lawyer from Madagascar, Rado Rakotosamimana, will give his expert opinion. Mpower! Invites everyone to engage in this battle against feminicide and gender based violence. One case is one case too many!

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