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Women and young people’s rights to reproductive health services, information and education cannot be protected without ensuring that they can determine when, how many, and whether to bear children, control their bodies and sexuality, and be free from violence.

UNFPA works at global and country levels to ensure that those elements are addressed through its programme and mission. In Maldives, the UNFPA country office works with the vision of ensuring that the reproductive rights of all, including women, young and marginalized people, are protected. The work will contribute to advance the realization of human rights within the framework of accountability, quality, and equity and also by ensuring acceptability.

Teenage Pregnancy

Although sex outside marriage is illegal and punishable by law, anecdotal evidence, hospital records and judiciary statistics show incidence of non-marital pregnancies. The consequences of the pregnancies include increased vulnerability of young people, especially young girls to self-induced illegal abortions, maternal deaths, infanticides (18 in 2012 and 2013), and gender based violence (1 in 3 women).

Other repercussions such as broken families, female headed households (33%), youth getting married early to avoid stigma, as well as reduced opportunities to pursue education and employment to fully realise their potential, are disproportionally felt by young women.

Gender-based Violence (GBV)

Having supported the development of the Health Sector response to GBV: National Guideline on providing care and prevention for Health Care Providers and the online course for health care providers, UNFPA continues to help strengthen the health sector to implement the national guidelines and engage young people to raise awareness on the impact of GBV.

What we do

·         UNFPA coordinates inter-agency efforts to advance gender equality advocacy especially, addressing women’s rights using an alternative narrative in view of socio-cultural opportunities and challenges. This intervention includes support to develop a National Human Rights Action Plan to monitor accepted recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the reporting process for the Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

·         UNFPA works to engage the up-stream, policy level through rights-based analysis and alignment of standards, guidelines and protocols of the existing policy and legal frameworks to the international standards.