There is nothing that Maldivian women cannot do, Minister of Gender and Family Zenysha Zaki said Thursday.
Minister Zenysha gave a speech at a ceremony held in Dharubaaruge on International Women’s Day to award the prestigious ‘Rehendhi Award’ in recognition of the outstanding contributions and services of women in Maldives, where she declared that Maldivian women are capable of achieving great feats in any industry.
The gender minister said that women thrive in all sectors of development in the country and added that the Dhivehi women have the potential to lead these sectors to further greatness.
She also highlighted many deeds championed by Dhivehi women, and said that Maldives has largely been successful in ensuring rights of women. Zenysha noted how there are more girls pursuing higher education from Maldives, compared to many other parts of the world, and how maternal deaths are comparatively low in the Maldives.
The gender minister noted how some laws have also been amended to ensure that women are on equal par with men, while progressive laws against sexual harassment have also been ratified by the parliament over the recent years.
“We now have equal laws in wealth distribution, in case of divorces. This is a huge achievement in ensuring women’s rights too.”
However, the minister was quick to admit that there are still several challenges that women have to overcome, and added that there are more things that could be done to improve the plight of Dhivehi women.
In this light, she noted that the ministry still receives an unacceptable amount of reports of domestic abuse and that these challenges to women are very real.
In her speech, she also noted that over 40 per cent of the mortgage-free loan scheme initiated by the government are acquired by women to pursue their own interests.
While the gender minister highlighted how women holding managerial and decision-making roles in prestigious businesses and the government are increasing, she said that there is still potential for more women to be involved. This would further ensure that women are being properly represented, and their voices being heard, Zenysha said.