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A new gender law in Mauritius that requires one-third of candidates in local elections to be women represents another small step towards parity in decision-making. The gender quota is contained in the new Local Government Act that entered into force on 1 January 2012 and compels all political parties to field more women to contest in local elections due by April this year. Under Mauritian law, the town and village councillors are elected every five years and their main role is to ensure the smooth running of five towns and 108 villages, overseeing the provision of services such as garbage collection and road maintenance.