The Foreign Minister of Maldives Her Excellency Ms. Dunya Maumoon, has reiterated the Government’s commitment to promote and protect the rights of women in all walks of life. Delivering her opening remarks at the Maldives review under the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Minister noted the progress made by the Government in eliminating discrimination against women in the Maldives and particularly noted the significant efforts made in implementing President Yameen’s two key policies relating to women’s rights; ie, empowerment of women, socially, economically and politically and zero tolerance for violence against women.
“We strongly believe that equality of women in all walks of life, within the family, and in public life, is indeed a prerequisite for social justice and inclusive development that benefits all segments of society”, said the Minister.
Continuing she further stated that extensive work has been undertaken at an institutional level to improve the legislative framework and legal safeguards that protect the rights of women. Minister particularly noted the enactment of the Sexual Abuse and Harassment Prevention Act and Sexual Offences Act in 2014 as marking major steps forward in safeguarding rights ensured to women. Filling the legislative gaps were identified as key concluding observations by the Committee in the last review of Maldives.
While noting some of the emerging challenges faced by women such as stereotypical practices which hinders the equal representation of women in the society, Minister Dunya reiterated Government’s commitment in addressing these issues. “While the Government is committed to improving the domestic legislative framework to safeguard the rights of vulnerable groups in the society, we firmly believe in the implementation and enforcement of laws and creating a culture of respect and eliminating stereotypical ideas within society as important aspects in ensuring gender equality and the protection of rights of women.” says Minister.
Minister Dunya is leading the Maldives delegation to the Review under CEDAW which is being held at the 60thSession of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The Maldives Delegation comprises of Dr. Hala Hameed, Minister of State for Law and Gender, Ms. Geela Ali, Minister/ Chargé d’affaires, Permanent Mission of Maldives to the Offices in Geneva, Ms. Fathimath Azza, Director General, Ministry of Education, Dr. Mariyam Jenyfa, Senior Medical Officer, Ministry of Health and staff of Maldives Mission in Geneva.