Proactively promoting women leadership: Maldives minister Shidhatha Shareef

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 30, 2019, 09:00 AM(IST)

Shidhatha Shareef, Maldives minister for Gender, Family and Social Services  Photograph:( WION )

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Genders issues are very sensitive issues globally but having said so we have come to major developments in South Asian countries, she said

Shidhatha Shareef is Minister for Gender, Family and Social Services, Maldives. She is currently in Delhi and spoke to WION's Principal Diplomatic Correspondent Sidhant Sibal on how the current government in the Maldives led by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is instituting reforms to give women an equal place in Maldivian society. 

WION: How do you see the current discourse?

Shidhatha Shareef: Gender issues are very sensitive issues globally but having said so we have come to major developments in South Asian countries but we still share a lot of challenges especially when it comes to women empowerment and women participation in a leadership position. Our ministry is really taking care of stepping up development of gender issues in the Maldives. We do have election.. parliamentary elections coming soon and we really hope to increase in women representation in the Maldives. Honoured to see the historic number of women in current administration.

WION: Under current President Solih's cabinet, we have a number of women minister...

Shidhatha Shareef: Its a good start with this administration and shows commitment from the government that they prioritise women empowerment and women leadership in the country. 

WION: Your take on the MeToo campaign?

Shidhatha Shareef: It has taken a new step. We still have stereotypes and when we talk about gender it is about women. It is mainly talking about the rightful place for both men and women. As we all see around the world women have to put a lot of effort to go to the frontline. Still not getting a rightful place in frontline leadership. We have to do a lot of work in that. We do so gradually see development in the area.

WION: Policies of Solih admin towards women empowerment? 

Shidhatha Shareef: We are very vocal and proactively promoting women leadership. And we also working on women economic empowerment as we see that will contribute to general empowerment of women. We also revising paternal and maternal day leave so we have pledged 6 months of paid maternal leave and 30 days paid paternal leave for men which will enhance career development of women after starting family lives as well. Overarchingly we have policies that see through a gender lens.

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