Women as Leaders
“People in my island have this assumption that from a religious and social perspective, having a woman heading things will lead to no good. This is difficult for me to hear, but it will not stop me.” – Aishath Naazly, President, Rasgetheem Council.
When Aishath Naazly first attended a workshop (supported by UNDP in collaboration with a coalition of NGOs and the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives), targeted at women councillors a few years back, she had just started campaigning for a seat in her island’s Council. “Now, we are elected, and are attending this forum with responsibilities on our shoulders,” says Naazly, a participant at the recent UNDP-organized Forum for Women Councillors.
- Naazly attended the first workshop organized by UNDP, targeted at contesting women councillors a few years back.
- She participated at the subsequent workshop, 'Forum for Women Councillors', as an elected official.
- Naazly says that one of the most important lessons learnt at the Forum for Women Councillors is to be more assertive and to say no when the occasion calls for it.
- The forum presented the opportunity to properly connect with women council members from across the country.
“At that first workshop, I got inspiration for my campaign slogan ‘Empowering Women’, which led to me contesting with 17 others on my island, majority of them men, and coming in first in the polls. Now I am President of the Island Council,” says a beaming and determined Naazly.
Naazly says that one of the most important lessons learnt at the Forum for Women Councillors is to be more assertive and to say no when the occasion calls for it. “In the forum we learnt that contrary to popular belief held by our communities, we can contribute on the same level as men. It has shown us the way to go forward, even with the challenges we face,” says Naazly, who is grateful for the support she receives from her husband, as well as her fellow council members as she carries out the demanding and complex responsibilities as the President of the Council.
She also appreciates the opportunity presented at the forum to properly connect with not only women council members from across the country, but the Local Government Authority actors, opening up the avenue to maintain more productive networks with these key actors in the long run.
Naazly, who prior to attending the forum had just wrapped up discussions at her council on a proper building code to maintain Rasgetheem island’s facade, is intent on passing on the knowledge she has acquired at the forum to her community, and educate them on the significant and essential role women can play in development.
“There are still people who think that a woman’s work and role is not valid. I am here to change that,” the mother of one says.
- Within the margins of the UN General Assembly this September, the Maldivian delegation which included the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms. Dhunya Maumoon and Minister of Environment and Energy Honorable Mr. Thorig Ibrahim met with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. During this meeting, UNDP administrator appreciated the strong partnership between UNDP and the government of Maldives and welcomed the new United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) that was recently adopted. UNDP’s new Country Programme (2015 – 2020) for the Maldives was also approved by UNDP Executive Board in September this year. The Administrator reflected on UNDP’s efforts to seek more innovative and flexible ways of expanding its programmes carried out in different countries and reassured the Maldivian delegation of its commitment to the development of Maldives. The Minister of Foreign Affairs also appreciated the support provided by UNDP as a development partner and noted that the organizations presence is “beyond symbolic”. The Maldivian delegation assured the Administrator that UNDP can count on the government as an equal partner and further discussed on ways how UNDP and government could jointly work in mobilizing resources for development programmes and projects of UNDP implemented in the Maldives. Tuesday AT 12:29 AM
- UNDP Maldives and the Ministry of Law and Gender have today held the preliminary validation workshop to present the National Gender Policy. The National Gender Policy envisions a society where women and men have equal roles and responsibilities in the economic, political and social development of the country, and in which all individuals are able to achieve their full potential and realize their human rights. One of the key initiatives of the Policy was the Maldives Gender Equality Model which aims to promote and acknowledge institutions that has taken exceptional initiates to roll out the four outcomes identified in the Gender Policy The workshop was attended by the Attorney General, UNDP Resident Representative, Policy makers and other key stakeholders. 04 October AT 07:36 AM
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