Saturday, 08 March 2014

Message by Her Excellency Ms Dunya Maumoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives on the occasion of the International Women’s Day

Written by 

 بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, I extend warm greetings and good wishes to women and men in all parts of the Maldives and around the world. I thank the women of Maldives, and worldwide for their invaluable service to the countries and to their communities. 

Time and time again, Maldivian women have shown the nation and the world that they are capable, dependable and fearless. Women in the Maldives have enjoyed equal pay, equal access to the ballot, to education, employment and health care. Women in the Maldives are educated as much, and as long as their male peers. The country has benefitted from their numerous contributions in the public sector, in political activism, in businesses and in civil society. 

 Yet, challenges remain.  While women’s participation in the labour force is strong, their presence at the top remains lacking. While women’s participation at grass root level of political activism is very visible, few women are present in parliament and in local government. 

 Domestic violence and sexual violence remain highly feminised. While the Maldives has achieved five out of the eight Millennium Development Goals, Goal 3 on promoting gender equality and empowering women remains unattained. 

 No society has achieved greatness without paying respect and homage to the contribution that women make to that society. We, as a society, must work towards empowering women to make their own destiny. We must ensure women have equal access, equal participation and equal choice.  We must ensure that women in Maldives get the respect they deserve, and the opportunity they are entitled, in the true spirit of Islam. We must provide a safe and secure environment for women, where their rights are ensured, their true talents can flourish and their true potential may be realised. 

 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains committed to promoting and protecting the rights of Maldivian women domestically and internationally. It is my wish to see the Domestic Violence Bill fully implemented, and for the Bill on Gender Equality to be adopted. I am also committed to ensuring more women are represented at the higher levels of the diplomatic service. 

 On this International Women’s Day, let us resolve to double our efforts to empower women and promote their welfare and rights. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stands with the women of the Maldives, to change the status quo for women’s equality and to inspire positive change.



The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Republic of the Maldives


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