New faces have appeared on the political scene since the announcement of the next legislative elections. The main parties have each presented 12 women candidates. Among them, women from various backgrounds and professions, who are making their first steps into politics. Despite the fact that some have been criticised for their inexperience in the world of politics, most of them express their motivation to run as candidates.
Jasmine Toulouse : “Provide support to Mauritian women”
The candidate of the MMM party in Constituency No. 14 (Savanne / Black River) is known for being a singer. “I’m in the social field and I’ve been working with women living in the region for a very long time. What motivated me to be a candidate in these elections is the women cause. I wish to provide more support to the women of Black River and in the Constituency but also for all the Mauritian women in general,” says Jasmine Toulouse. She believes more women should join politics. “I think that the fact that many women have joined politics and will be participating in the general elections for the first time this year will definitely encourage other women in our country to do the same.” But why are Mauritian women not motivated to do politics? “I cannot speak for the other women but as for myself, I feel like a warrior ready to fight,” answered the artist.
Shakilla Jhungeer : “Contributing to the development of our country”
Lawyer by profession, the candidate of L’Alliance Morisien in Constituency No. 2 (Port Louis South / Port Louis Central) states that she chose to do politics in order to “contribute to the development of our country while improving the quality of life of all citizens.” Experiencing door-to-door visits for the first time, Shakilla Jhungeer says that despite being a novice in politics, she is being warmly welcomed by the people. Her main objectives are to provide support to the elderly and empower more women. “The youth is the future of our country. We cannot sit and watch without doing anything. We have to act. Women also have a great role to play in politics because they have the ability to make a difference. This is why I believe that we must support both,” says Shakilla, who believes the Mauritian woman do feel concerned about politics in our country.
Sudha Ramen : “Fight for the welfare of workers”
Housewife and student in Special Needs Education, Sudha Ramen is a candidate from the Lalit Party. “I advocate for causes that are important for me, such as the welfare of the working class, the emancipation of women, food security, among others. I decided to make a commitment to do politics differently. What also motivates me is that I am a mother of two children who are Special Needs children. I am fighting for a better future for all children,” utters Sudha. The candidate in Constituency No. 8 (Quartier-Militaire / Moka) trusts that all women must make their voices heard. “However, if a woman is elected or holds an important post, it does not mean that she represents all women. Each one of us lives a different reality in our society, especially those in the working class. This is why I believe that all women must fight.”
Nishta Bhola : “Work for the forgotten of our society”
Nishta Bhola, lawyer by profession, says she has always been interested in politics. “I want our country to offer what is best to the people without racial and communal distinctions. I believe very strongly in meritocracy and humanitarian justice. Many people are forgotten and put aside in our society. My goal is to uplift the lives of these people,” she utters. The candidate of the Reform Party in Constituency No. 13 (Rivière des Anguilles / Souillac) trusts that a man and a woman have to work as a team on the field. “We need to promote gender equality. I myself have been the victim of sexist comments but that does not discourage me. I have noticed that many women do not dare to come forward, as they fear that it might displease their spouse. It should not be the case as we need more women in parliament and they will bring a better balance in our society,” she says.
Priya Kanhye : “Use my professional experience to work for the people”
Candidate of L’Alliance Nationale in Constitueny No 6 (Grand Baie/Poudre d’Or), Priya Kanhye states that it is the various societal issues that motivated her to engage into politics. “We have major issues such as drugs, unemployment, domestic violence and the cost of life which continues to rise. My aim is to use my professional experience to work for the people and help the country to progress. So far, my first experience on the field is going well,” states the former Compliance Officer who holds a degree in Economics and Finance. Priya also utters that she aims to be the voice of Mauritian women. “Who can be a better spokesperson for women than a woman herself? Women are suffering too much from domestic violence; they are still victims of stereotypes at work, among others. Women must also benefit from a minimum salary and hold high posts in all sectors,” adds the latter, who underlines that she has always been interested with politics.
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