Gender Ministry initiated discussions with the President’s Office regarding establishing childcare spaces in workplaces, states Gender Minister Aishath Mohamed Didi.
Aishath made the remark in her written response to a question by Hinnavaru MP Jeehan Mahmood regarding the progress of establishing an affordable daycare center in Male’ – which is part of the government’s strategic action plan.
Aishath said the Gender Ministry had engaged in discussions with relevant parties regarding finding space in Male’ to build a daycare center from 2021-March 2022.
“However, due to the shortage of space in Male’, the ministry was unable to find a space to build a daycare center,” she said.
Aishath said the Gender Ministry also failed in its bid to build a daycare center by including it in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded Strengthening Gender Inclusive Initiatives Project, and that the project has since been removed from the initiative.
Aishath said the Gender Ministry then researched alternate models to support working parents.
“As such, we engaged in discussions with the President’s Office regarding establishing childcare centers in offices in August,” she said.
Aishath said the Gender Ministry submitted a discussion paper to the Social Council, which advised the ministry to implement the recommendations on the paper.
She said that the Gender Ministry has established a minimum standard for childcare spaces, and was engaged in one-on-one discussions with state-owned enterprises regarding establishing such spaces.
On October 7, Housing Development Corporation (HDC) contracted Associated Business Agents to build a six-floor building in a 3,000 square feet plot for a daycare center. HDC said the daycare center is being established to offer working parents a safe space for their children in Hulhumale’.