A former member of the MMM who ran in the partial election at No. 18, Sanita Juddoo is today the president of En Avant Moris. She regrets that women only play a role on the periphery of active politics. For her, we can no longer expect the leaders of political parties, most of whom are men, to choose to adopt parity.

Her baptism of fire was during the partial at No. 18, Belle-Rose/Quatre-Bornes. Boasting diplomas (see below), Sanita Juddoo is a candidate for the MMM. “This experience was very enriching and I will always be grateful to the party for offering me this opportunity,” says Sanita Juddoo.

However, his defeat precipitated his departure from the Mauves, especially in the face of the actions of those who were against his inauguration. She says she felt like a scapegoat. However, she clarified, it was the party's prerogative to give him an investiture or not. “Unlike those who like to strut around with a resignation letter in their pocket or hold sensational press conferences, I preferred to withdraw quietly after a frank and cordial meeting with the party leader, without rancor or bitterness” , she remembers.

We must change the mentality of politicians, but also and above all of voters”

In the following years, Sanita Juddoo completed an Executive Master in Management. At the same time, she joined En Avant Moris led by Patrick Belcourt, and became its president. She believes that it is possible, in a young party, to move things forward without the structural constraints, particularly of traditional parties. “It was also imperative to broaden this political landscape by offering other perspectives and alternatives,” she emphasizes.

“Lil Moris Pou Nou Tou” and “Stop Political Fanaticism” are not empty slogans, says Sanita Juddoo: “With a superb team of dedicated professionals and activists, we have a beautiful vision for our country, while advocating a policy of inclusion and proximity. »

What does she think of a quota for the representation of women in the National Assembly? “We have to break the glass ceiling syndrome,” she replies. She recalls that the female population in Mauritius accounted for 50.7% in 2020, according to the most recent figures from the World Bank. So, for her, women have a say and must be represented at all costs. “Women are at the greatest risk of poverty and violence. Who can represent them better than themselves. Otherwise, the point of view of more than half of the Mauritian population is violated. »

Dwelling on the underrepresentation of women in politics, she explains that it is a masculine world where women only play a role on the periphery of active politics. “We must change the mentality of politicians, but also and above all of voters. Some do not include women on the electoral list and others do not trust women to occupy decision-making positions,” notes the politician.
If we wait for political parties, currently led mostly by men, to decide on their own to adopt parity, it could take a very long time. “Many talk about giving more nominations to women, but very few are inclined to put their money where their mouth is, especially on the eve of the elections when the pressure is mounting, as are the auctions. Hence the argument for a quota,” Sanita Juddoo explains.

Many talk about giving more nominations to women, but very few are inclined to put their money where their mouth is, especially on the eve of the elections.

Concretely, what changes would the imposition of a quota bring? It highlights women's perceptions in several areas: equal pay, family-work balance, fertility, gender parity, unemployment and part-time working as well as poverty. “How can a country fully exploit its potential if it ignores half of its population, marginalizes them or does not invest in its human capital? » asks Sanita Juddoo.

In her opinion, what are the skills required of women candidates for legislative elections? For Sanita Juddoo, we must go beyond partisan boundaries. “Have we ever seen women parliamentarians from all sides meet to discuss cross-cutting themes? We must overcome political divisions to put pressure on party leaders,” she insists.

Speaking about the women who have marked the political history of Mauritius, Sanita Juddoo salutes the courage and tenacity of Radha Poonoosamy as a pioneer and first female minister. She also cites Vidula Nababsing who, according to her, was a fearless orator who campaigned with disconcerting simplicity and effectiveness. “Shirin Aumeeruddy-Cziffra was remarkable for her contribution to the fights promoting the protection of women and children,” she adds.

However, she regrets that far too many women parliamentarians have little control over their files. “Echoing your leader or adding to a theme that has been debated many times will not advance the debates,” she insists. She insists: “The politician must work her file carefully. Only in this way will she be respected, accepted and listened to. »

Faced with a candidate's lack of control, Sanita Juddoo warns that the electorate is not fooled.

Women are at greatest risk of poverty and violence. Who can represent them better than themselves?

“If he is content to judge the performance of certain women and generalize, he risks closing the half-open door that gave women the opportunity to make their breakthrough in the political and decision-making world. »

Therefore, Sanita Juddoo thinks that women candidates must be fighters who are more concerned about the situation in the country than their possible election in their respective constituencies. It is an illness from which male politicians also suffer. “We therefore need women of integrity who stand their ground and who will not give in to flattery or corruption. »

And what should be the priorities of legislative candidates? Supervision of young people so that they do not fall into the hell of drugs, support for single mothers and victims of domestic violence… answers Sanita Juddoo. “Parental leave, the right of women to control their bodies, among others. We must defend the voiceless on a multitude of subjects that challenge us,” she adds.

Has the time for change arrived? “Yes, it is time for change for a better future in the country. » But isn't this fight for a quota just another doom and gloom? ” When we want we can ! Take for example the right to vote, which was a long struggle that finally succeeded. So why not fight for a quota? »

However, the obstacles to the active participation of women in politics are numerous. “The derogatory attack on the person and not a fight of ideas is something that has gotten worse since the scale of social networks where it is very easy to hide behind a screen to utter insults and stupid and cowardly attacks “, she concedes.

This is why she advises women who wish to enter politics to refuse personal attacks and to concentrate on their ideas for a better Mauritius. “Research intensively on the themes that are important to you. And don't let yourself be destabilized by insults, harsh criticism, etc. »

The goal, she insists, is to change society without expecting anything in return. To give your all during the mandate, without worrying about the post-term. Sanita Juddoo quotes Gloria Steinem, writer, speaker, political activist and feminist organizer: “The story of women's struggle for equality does not belong to just one feminist or one organization, but is part of collective effort of all those who care about human rights. »

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