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Shattering Silence: Confronting Gender-Based Violence and Social Norms

Gender Based Violence (GBV), deeply rooted in cultural belief, harmful norms, and patriarchal gender roles, has become a pervasive issue in the Maldives. Despite legal frameworks promoting gender equality, a disturbing prevalence of violence against women persists. Our mission is to combat GBV, drive social norm change, and create a safe, equitable society for all.


Two women (on the right and middle) and a man (left) in a discussion


Maldives: Deep-Seated Challenges

Tragically, 1 in 3 women in the Maldives report experiencing violence in their lifetime, with 1 in 4 women subjected to intimate partner violence. Additionally, 26% of women (aged 15-49) believe that certain circumstances can justify a partner’s violent actions.


Overcoming Challenges: Pathways to Progress

Our strategy to tackle GBV encompasses:

  • Integrating Support Services: We aim to embed services for GBV survivors within health services, providing the essential medical, psychosocial, and legal support. With this survivor-centered approach we can help ensure comprehensive assistance is offered in times of need.
  • Preventing Violence: We aim to tackle GBV at its roots, by challenging harmful social norms and promoting positive masculinity, actively involving men and boys in the process to prevent violence.
  • Harmonizing Laws and Policies: Our goal is to align national laws within international best practices, removing discriminatory provisions, and advocating for survivors’ rights. We aim to seek an approach that offers a more effective, empathetic legal support system.


UNFPA: Bridging the Gap

Under the umbrella of the United Nations Sustainable Development Corporation Framework, UNFPA’s 7th country program prioritizes:

  • Referral Coordination: We aim to strengthen the national referral coordination system for a survivor-centered response.
  • Gender and Social Norm Transformation: Transforming the harmful norms and stereotypes to prevent GBV. 
  • Legal Alignment: Working towards harmonizing national laws and policies with international human rights standards.


Join Us: Making a Difference

UNFPA seeks to broaden its collaborative network across sectors to put an end to GBV and promote healthy social norms. Here’s how YOU can be a part of this transformative journey:

  • Become a Partner: Engage with us to conduct workplace awareness sessions on GBV prevention, sexual harassment and abuse. Every conversation sparks a change.
  • Support Our Programmes: Contribute to initiatives designed to streamline the response to GBV and strengthen national mechanisms to end violence against women and girls while fostering gender equality.
  • Invest in Change: Aid in UNFPA’s flagship initiatives that mobilize community interventions for social norm transformation, tackling harmful stereotypes and discriminatory practices. Your contribution could be the turning point for many lives.


Learn more:

To learn more about how we can unite to end GBV and transform social norms, please connect with us at:


Change begins with a commitment to societal transformation. Join us today in our endeavor to create a future where everyone lives free from the chains of GBV.