Youth in Transition

According to the 2014 Population and Housing Census, 47 percent of the population are young people below 24 years. Out of which 2,563 are 10-year-old girls. In 2030 these young girls will be 25 years old. During the next 15 years, these young girls will make their transition from adolescence to adulthood. This is the period when the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is implemented. Many of these goals will depend on the realization of the potential of girls, who are often left behind on the development ladder. With the right investments on empowerment, education and employment, these 10-year-old girls can make a healthy transition to adulthood and become productive members in society.

Health and Wellbeing

Teenage pregnancy is very low in Maldives with a fertility rate of only seven per 1,000 women aged between 15 to 19. On average a young woman gets married at 22 and have their first child at 21. That means if the current trend continues, most of the 10-year-old girls would have gotten married and have a child, by 2030. Half of the marriages among young people are broken before their 30th birthday. While twenty percent of the 10-year-olds live with just their mother. Ahla, wants to get married at 27 and Shuhuba wants a small family. Fulfilment of Goal 3 and 5 for girls like Ahla and Shuhuba is depended upon access to essential health care information and services, and assurance of their rights and freedom to decide when and whom to marry, and when to start a family

Education

Almost all boys and girls attend school until their 15th birthday, yet 29 percent of young males and 24 percent of young females are without a certificate. One in four young person aged between 15 and 19 are neither employed nor in education or training. Shuhuba from A. Dh Mahibadhoo wants to live in her island and study, and have a family there and Leen wants to be an orthopedic doctor. Without ensuring a lifelong process of quality education for Shuhuba and Leen, Goal 4 would be difficult to attain. This means young people may not be prepared for the modern workplace.

Work and Employment

Twenty three percent of the labour force is aged between 15-24. Females work in teaching, as shop sales persons and general office clerks. Eighty percent of young people aged between 18 to 34 who are not in the labour force are women. Main reason for women not being in the labour force is because they are engaged with household chores/caring for children. Mishkath,10 wants to become a pilot for Malaysian Airlines while Uyoon wants the same opportunity as boys to play sport. Unless opportunities are created for girls like Mishkath and Uyoon to acquire skills and to earn a better income, Goal 8 may not be realized.