Women in Networking (WIN) emerged on the Mauritian scene in 2006 with the objective of empowering women, inspired by Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. A network within itself, WIN brings together Soroptimist International Ipsae, the Junior Chamber International Curepipe, the Association Mauricienne des Femmes Chefs d’Entreprise, MediaWatch Organisation (GEMSA) and individual members.

The purpose of this network is to continue to develop and expand a framework of cooperation between the founding members in order to further its mission of empowering women through networking and capacity-building programmes and projects.

The network is a database of future women leaders, resource people (local and international, men and women) to achieve the objectives, and anyone interested in achieving the objectives of WIN Ltd.

In September 2012, WIN Ltd was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee. WIN set out 4 objectives from the outset:

  • To develop 30 women leaders per annum who can influence decision-making in all spheres, creating a pool of 300 talented and competent women leaders over a period of 10 years.
  • Strengthen and expand the network in quantity and quality and develop networks with other support groups.
  • Spearhead the transformation of politics in Mauritius to lead to doubling the number of women in Parliament.
  • Promote values of equality for men and women in all spheres of life in Mauritius.

Since its conception, WIN has launched the following projects in line with its objectives: WIN Leadership Programme (WLP) for its Leadership objective: Regular networking meetings to develop its network. Women in Politics (WIP) to increase the representation of women in politics. Men Against Violence (MAV) to combat gender based violence, which is a real societal issue.

Over the years, WIN has grown, not only in numbers of members, but also in requests from various Public and Private Institutions for their various projects, training programmes and know-how. The WIN training centre offers MQA registered training in women’s leadership, which can also be adapted for mixed groups with a strong gender awareness theme, and for NGOs and grassroots teams; Build Your Business (BYB) in collaboration with Microsoft; Empowering Women in the Workplace; and Making the Workplace more Gender Sensitive.

WIN Ltd is managed by a Board of Directors with representatives of the sponsor organisations and individuals who are elected to the board, whose prime role is to achieve WIN’s objectives and oversee the governance of the organisation. For every objective, WIN has a Champion who reports to the Board on a monthly basis.

Through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they have an ambitious yet achievable global agenda for the fight against global poverty. And as consensus grows on the steps that need to be taken by developing and developed countries alike in order to achieve the MDGs, it is clear that women need to be at the centre of all these efforts. It is acknowledged that improving the situation of women worldwide is crucial to achieving all the MDGs. Despite the huge economic progress that has been made in Mauritius since Independence in 1968, Mauritius still lags behind many African countries in terms of gender equality and female representation in decision-making. While Mauritius is held up as an example of democracy in Africa, with one of the oldest democracies in the region, the female population of Mauritius, approximately 52% of the total population, is largely disenfranchised when it comes to participating in the decision-making process at all levels in our society.