The Mauritian patriarchal culture does not favor the political engagement of women, analyzes the activist. “For a long time, women have been excluded from political participation, including the right to vote. Even in 2024, a large portion of our population perceives a man as more competent than a woman. »

So, Sandrine Julien welcomes the possible introduction of a quota to improve the representation of women in Parliament. But be careful, she said, it is important to ensure that this measure does not compromise the principle of merit and does not fuel tensions between the sexes.

However, she makes it clear, a quota alone cannot really change the situation, and will certainly not allow a woman to one day become Prime Minister, without a real change in mentality. Citing international examples such as Angela Merkel, Jacinda Ardern, Kamala Harris and Margaret Thatcher, Sandrine Julien regrets that many Mauritians believe that women's place is not in politics.
As for those who dare and are elected, the activist deplores that they are confined to the ministries of Women, Education or Social Security. When will there be a female Minister of Finance or Defense, she asks.

How does she see those elected to Parliament? Sandrine Julien emphasizes qualities such as integrity, courage, resilience, and skills. And to point out, at the same time, that the consequences of choosing a woman who is not up to the task are the same as for a man, but that women's errors are often attributed to their gender, which is not the case. case for men.

However, insists Sandrine Julien, “women also have the right to engage in politics and contribute to the management of the country, with their own perspective and specific skills”. For her, former minister Sheila Bappoo, who was the first woman to denounce sexism in politics in Mauritius, Radha Poonoosamy, the first female minister in Mauritius, former minister and feminist activist Shirin Aumeeruddy-Cziffra, and Ameenah Gurib -Fakim, first president of the Republic of Mauritius “opened doors previously considered inaccessible to Mauritian women and they contributed to changing mentalities, although this remains insufficient”.

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