Kolektif Drwa Imin is a consortium of activists and civil society groups advocating for inclusion, equality and protection of women, children and the LGBT+ community in Mauritius.
What they experienced on the ground made them think that public attitudes in Mauritius about gender roles, gender-based violence and LGBT+ people’s lives had evolved in recent years. But there was still wide-spread perception by some political leaders and some media that Mauritius was a conservative country where women’s and LGBT+ rights were not supported.
With our support, delivered through the Global Equality Project, Kolektif Drwa Imin carried out research to understand what Mauritians thought about issues such as gender equality, domestic violence and LGBT+ rights.
They found that a large majority of the population thought that gender equality was important and that women should have control over their own lives and bodies, but that discriminatory stereotypes, such as housework and childcare being the responsibility of women, were still widespread.
Whilst there was high awareness of different forms of gender-based violence and a large majority perceived them all as unacceptable, over a third of respondents believed that domestic violence should be a private matter which should not be reported and over a quarter thought that it was a woman’s duty to obey her husband.
They also found that attitudes towards LGBT+ people were becoming more tolerant, with over three quarters of respondents saying that LGBT+ people should have the same human rights as other people. However, 45% of people still thought that a couple should be a man and a woman, and a substantial minority of people blamed LGBT+ people for violence directed towards them.
The research allowed Kolektif Drwa Imin to better understand gender-based violence and discrimination against LGBT+ people through the lens of local citizens and helped them tailor sensitisation campaigns and messages to the media to challenge stereotypes and harmful beliefs. Data from the research was also used to inform recommendations for law reforms which were shared with MPs.
As Kolektif Drwa Imin has shown, having access to good data is really important in making the case for human rights. That’s why at Kaleidoscope Trust we carry out and support our partners to carry out robust research to understand the issues faced by women, LGBT+ people and other marginalised groups. If you’d like to help us continue this work, please donate here.