The status of women in Mauritius

“The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.” (Chief Joseph)

 There has been a marked changed for the better in our overall approach towards the women in Mauritius. Gone are the days when their place was considered to be behind the four walls of the house and their only job was confined to looking after the household affairs. But now, they can be seen working shoulder to shoulder with men in every sphere of life. This is undoubtedly a good sign and an indication of their emancipation.

 This has, however, increased the workload of working women manifold. They attend to their official duties and after eight hours of labour, return home to a different kind of job. It is a common sight to see them hurrying back from their offices in the evening only to enter the kitchen at home and cook for the family and attend to other domestic chores. The men seldom help in the household tasks. This situation exists because men regard themselves as superior in mental and physical power and women as inferior to them. Similarly, women too have been made to accept their subordinate position. However, it is rather inappropriate that this type of wrong thinking has not changed with the changing of times.

This attitude of superiority on the part of men has caused many problems for working women. In offices, though they are selected to important positions, they often have to prove themselves doubly competent in order to get a promotion. Women still have to face the ‘sticky floor’ which denies them entry into high position jobs. Again their absence from duty or late arrival is frowned upon whereas the same lapse in a male colleague is, generally ignored and over-looked.

Even in day- to- day routine life, women have to face a host of problems because the basic attitude towards them still remains unchanged despite we are all talking about gender equity in this modern era. Customs, beliefs which downgrade the position of women have yet to be overcome. True liberation of women is possible only when our overall attitude is changed! That path is long…..let’s wait! After all, the fruit of patience is very sweet!!!

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