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The questionnaires were distributed in different regions in order to target a large number of women with different types of lifestyles. The reason was to get different views from women from different horizons having different backgrounds.
Women from different age groups have their own opinion on women emancipation, and each segment needed to taken into consideration. This difference in opinion is mainly due to the gap between different generations as facilities offered to them were not same.
Youngsters were more easily accessible for the survey and were more interested in giving some of their time. They were more common to the term ‘Emancipation of Women’.
The interviewees were met at their workplace, on university campus and at their home mainly.
Women awareness of Emancipation
There was a high rate of positive response in the overall result. As illustrated above 68 % of the respondents were aware of emancipation. This shows that emancipation affects lives of many Mauritian women. Emancipated women show some confidence and are less submissive.
Youngest women were more aware of emancipation; this was proved by their high rate of positive response (81% for 18-25 age group and 87% for the 26-35 age group). Those who knew more about emancipation were mainly those who have been to school or those who are working, or women having an active social life. These women appear more confident and less submissive.
Although their numbers were lower, the elder women gave mainly negative answers. In fact, the 46-over group age gave more than 50% of negative replies in their answers. This is so as the elderly do not see that emancipation has an impact on their lives itself. They are already grown up enough to change their life styles. Some of them said that they devote their time in looking after their offspring rather than doing things for themselves.
All women who knew about emancipation were able to tell that it has brought many changes in the way women are living today. As illustrated above, 67 % of women believed that emancipation had an impact on women and only 33 % were against this particular view. Those who answered yes are mostly responding in accordance about what they are achieving in their lives through as an emancipated woman.
So women were asked to describe this emancipation in a word or short phrase. The most used words to characterise emancipation are given below:
Women are foreseen as a decision maker in the family. Whereas long ago they had only to agree to the will of their husbands, 13.6% of interviewers think women now take part in all important decisions like, what stuff to buy, or decision like having a baby or not.
Women emancipation has also bring along with it equality between women and man. This is why 17.6% of women interrogated believed that they had equal rights as man. Indeed, nowadays, according to the equal and opportunities act, specify that no discrimination should be made between men and women.
With 22.4% of women answering that emancipation made them independent, this was the highest rate obtained for the survey. Women feel that emancipation brought them freedom of movements and actions. They are now able to launch themselves in any field they want and make their own decisions.
8.8% of women think that emancipation gave rise to new laws protecting women rights. And these laws have been made by act of parliaments and enforced by courts. So any person, who is found trespassing the right of a woman, can be sued in court and risk fines and imprisonment.
Women have now evaluated according to 5.6% of replies obtained in the survey. This evolution can be noticed by women now dressing them differently but also act differently in the society. Women are now well known and express their views. Where long ago they had no social life, today women are able to participate and animate social groups.
In order to support the women emancipation, women education should not be neglected as it was long ago, where mainly boys were sent to school, while girls had to stay at home and do household jobs. But nowadays, more and more women are able to go to school, and the stereotypes of the past seem to have faded away. From results of the survey, we noticed that every woman interviewed went to school, and many even went through tertiary education. Results are illustrated in the graphs below:
Most women questioned were able to say that the quality of education being offered to girls at school has increased. This quality may be quantified by the fact that girls work better than boys at school. The table below illustrates values obtained from the Central Statistic Office.
Certificate of Primary Education Pass Rate
For several years, we notice that girls work better than boys. This is due to the fact that equal chances are offered to both sexes. When questioned about the facilities offered to boys and girls, respondents replied that both sexes are offered same treatment.
The level of education involving women can also be illustrated by the fact that most respondents in the survey are well qualified women. More than one quarter of them has reached at least HSC level. However it can be noticed that female are more concerned about education and their future success nowadays due to the fact that they do not want to depend on any one. Career prospect has become the priority of almost all women.
The high level of education of women will therefore channel them for equal chances as men at work. They will have the possibility even to rule other men as they are qualified enough to do the job. Women are no more only housewives, while their husbands go to work to feed the family. There is growing motivation in women to have a job and be independent.
The majority of the respondent agreed that in major sectors of the industry, women are offered same chances as their male homologues. We can see women emerging in new sectors, and they are no longer present in the only sector which was mostly in industries. Long ago it would have been impossible because of stereotypes and prejudices which they will have to bear.
According to the study, 35% which forms the majority earns Rs 10000 to 20000. It shows that these women are not working in industries and fields as in such work they will not be earning this income. This shows that women has been emancipated in the job sector as at first it was industrialisation which gives rise to emancipation.
The emancipation of women has not only affected their life at work, but also their status in the family also changed.
As shown above, 89% of answerers think that women position in the family has changed. This is so as nowadays women are not the only one doing the entire task at home as they are being helped by the husband. 52% even answered that these changes were significant. Women have same power and same rights as their husband, brothers, or even as a family leader.
In the sample of people taken for the survey, we can see women participation as a decision maker at home in 71% of the replies. 21% even think that women are decision makers at home, because for them, generally, men only go to work, but it’s their wives who manage the budget for the month and even for the choices of equipments for the house.
When women were asked on the survey what changes emancipation brought to their lives, the most frequent answer was ‘being independent’. 25% of women think they are more independent while other frequent replies were ‘equality with men’ which came 20% of the time, and 18% think they are now decision makers. The most frequent answers have been selected and presented below.
Feeling more independent, women can now do all kind of activities apart from work and household tasks. So women are more involved in social groups. 53% of women interrogated practice any kind of social activity.
From results obtained from the survey, we notice that a slightly lower amount of women questioned being married. This value is smaller than if survey was done years before because of youngsters not getting married early in these days. They prefer a more liberal relationship before choosing whom to marry. The amount of forced marriage has decreased with women emancipation. Young ladies rights are more and more taken into consideration and they are able to choose between marriage and studies for example.
However, we notice that women do not practice enough sport, as we can see that only one third of women questioned actually practiced a sport activity. The main reason for this low rate is mainly due to lack of time. After work women feel that they have no time for sport as some attend tertiary education after working hours.
Sport has greatly contribute to revolutionise the status, image and even character of women, thus challenging a whole set of traditional and cultural attitudes about women’s position and role in society. With the increasing globalisation of sport, advances made in training and in women’s sport in general in Mauritius, encourage the development of new sports, increasing women involvement, and breaking down stereotypes. The impact of the Olympic Games in demonstrating the global participation of women in sport is highlighted. At every Olympic games, Mauritius had female representatives in the games.
From the survey, respondents were more than 4/5 saying that practicing sport was a new way for emancipation as it opens new doors and provide several alternatives to women to sound the world the way they like. Women are now able to become as good as men in sport.
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