The Committee of Women Parliamentarians met with representatives from the African Development Bank as part of an initiative by the Government of Seychelles to better understand how gender issues interact with poverty and productivity. Mr. Mark Blackden, a consultant on gender related matters, and Dr. Tilahun Temesgen, the African Development Bank Country Economist for Seychelles met with the Committee and discussed several gender issues relating to public policy, legislation and to gain a better understanding of the overall landscape.
The meeting took place at the National Assembly and important discussion relating to the social development of women and men were highlighted, as well as major challenges relating to gender in the country. The topics of the flexible working hours framework, daycare facilities and gender sensitive policies were discussed, including the shift that has been taking place over the years in the role of women in society and the need to focus on the engagement and participation of the men.
The Committee of Women Parliamentarians, is a Standing Committee of the National Assembly and was set up under Article 104 of the Constitution, which provides the National Assembly with the powers to create Committees, which is one of the main mechanisms that the institution uses to foster good governance, transparency and accountability. A large part of the work of the Members of the National Assembly takes place in Committees that are constitutionally empowered; where policy issues are considered, the work and expenditure of the Government is analysed and proposals for legislation examined and investigated. The Committees are central to the oversight role of the institution and are mandated to carry out a given function and then report back to the House with recommendations and findings.