On the 22nd of April, Hope for Women hosted the first round of a series of women’s forums. These forums aim at establishing a network of women leaders to discuss women’s rights issues. The purpose of the forums is to establish a platform for these women leaders, who are active in various areas of the society, to sit together and share their thoughts on the challenges that Maldivian women face today, and to brainstorm means by which these challenges may be addressed.
Through the discussions during this first round of the forum, these women leaders identified the challenges that women in Maldives faced. Highlighted issues include extremist beliefs and views of Islam (such as under-aged marriages, unregistered marriages and refusal to vaccinate children), insufficient maternity leave for new mothers, unavailability of childcare facilities for working parents, gender discriminatory clauses in laws and regulations, difficulties in enforcing judgement for child support cases, lack of sufficient open forums and lectures on women’s issues, and lack of gender modules in the education system.
Future meetings will look into finding solutions for these highlighted challenges.