Shidhatha: Women’s economic empowerment a top govt. priority

Gender Minister Shidhatha Shareef (2nd L) pictured with Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi (L), Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali (2nd R), and Housing Minister Aminath Athifa Shakoor (R). (File Photo/President's Office)

Gender Minister Shidhatha Shareef says facilitating greater opportunities for women in the Maldivian economy and boosting women’s economic empowerment is a key objective of the Maldivian government.

Shidhatha made the remark at the opening of Sustainable Growth of Women Entrepreneurs and Export Promotion (SWEEP) 2019 on Friday.

SWEEP 2019, organized by Madhya Pradesh Association of Women Entrepreneurs (MAWE), is underway at Indian city Jabalpur.

In her speech, Shidhatha said that the Maldivian government was working on empowering and boosting the involvement of women in tourism and fisheries – the two key Maldivian industries.

She stressed the need for women’s involvement in policy making and implementation process in economic affairs, and noted that several Maldivian women were heads of policy making in commerce and economic affairs agencies.

Shidhatha said the Maldivian government was working on increasing the number of women entrepreneurs by providing loans, mobile banking, and other facilities to local residential islands.

She said that the Maldivian government, in addition to establishing business facilities for women, was also working on policies and national action plans to boost economic empowerment of women.

She said the Gender Ministry will announce its gender equality policy and gender equality action plan soon.

Shidhatha said the gender equality action plan will help reduce the gender disparity between men and women in the Maldivian economy, and establish equal opportunities for men and women to contribute to the economy.

Shidhatha is heading the 21-women Maldivian delegation taking part in SWEEP 2019.

She also attended the 10th South Asian Women’s Network (SAWN) Conference held in New Delhi from August 31 – September 3.