Government is aiming to promote gender equality and cater for the rights and development of children as well as providing adequate social protection to the poor and vulnerable families, the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Jugnauth, underlined in the 2017-2018 Budget speech.
The Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare has been allocated a budget of Rs 473m for financial year 2017-2018.
Domestic violence is a social ill that Government aims to address. Consequently, to strengthen human resource capacity to deal with this serious problem, Government is providing for the recruitment of seven Family Welfare and Protection Officers and six Enforcement Officers at the Ministry of Gender Equality. The Budget also makes provision for the protection of victims of violence through improved services in shelters, Day Care Centres and the promotion of foster care.
Furthermore, a new policy has been announced in the Budget to encourage firms to allow their employees to work from home. The Employment legislation will be amended to attract more women into the labour force, reduce cost for the enterprises and raise productivity nationally.
Several measures will be implemented to set the foundation of an enabling environment essential for the development of the child, namely:
A Children’s Bill to give effect to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and providing the legal framework for better protection and care of children’s rights and welfare
Provision for children with special education needs to get the necessary help that addresses their individual differences and requirements in an effective way. Therefore, Government is increasing the grant-in-aid to the NGOs running Special Education Needs schools to Rs 110 million
Government strongly commits to have a just and equitable society by elevating the status of, and nurturing respect, for women. The measures announced in Budget 2017-2018 comprise:
Female labour participation rate to be increased from 43.6% currently to 50% by 2030
Women representation in Parliament will be at least 30%
Increase employability of women through upgrading of skills
Promoting participation of women in decision-making at the level of boards of companies