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International Women's Day symbolises how far women have struggled for equality, peace and development. It is an opportunity to unite, network and mobilise for meaningful change. International Women's Day was first celebrated in the Maldives in 1983. Since then, Maldives has ratified the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1993, with reservations on Articles 7 and 16. The reservation on Article 7, which sets out women's rights to be involved in politics and public life, has since been removed.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary event, UNFPA partnered with civil society, led by the NGO ‘Thirees Nuvaeh', to advocate for empowerment of women and non-discrimination.

The main event on March 7th at Dharubaaruge was graced by advocates from diverse backgrounds such as Professor Savithri Goonesekere, an international expert on the rights of women and children; Sheikh Muhammed Qubadh Aboobakuru, an Islamic Scholar; Aneesa Ahmed, former political figure and cabinet minister; Eva Abdulla, Parliament Member for Galolhu Uthuru; and Lene Christiansen, UNFPA Country Director.

With the country yet to achieve the Millennium Development Goal on gender equality, this important forum called for greater economic power, political voice and access to justice for women. The talks highlighted that women should no longer remain second-class citizens.

As the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, said in his statement on International Women's Day, "Only through women's full and equal participation in all areas of public and private life can we hope to achieve the sustainable, peaceful and just society promised in the United Nations Charter."


UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

For more information, please contact:

Shadiya Ibrahim - Assistant Representative, United Nations Population Fund, Office. +960 3343 301,