Aim is to promote gender equality in Maldives military: Minister Mariya

Minister of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih | Photo:

Malé, Maldives – Minister of Defence, Mariya Ahmed Didi has shared details with the international community, about the efforts that are being made to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Maldivian military.

At the side-event hosted by the 65th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on the role of Women Leaders in the Military and Peacekeeping, organized by Latvia and co-hosted by the Maldives, in the course of a panel discussion led by female Brigadier Generals and Colonels from Canada, Liberia, Norway and Latvia, Minister Mariya shared Maldives’ experience of gender equality by airing a video message.

By exploiting on research findings from international experts in the field of gender equality in the armed forces, Minister Mariya emphasized the need for stronger leadership, and larger opportunities and roles for women in the military.

Bringing attention to President Solih’s government’s energetic and growth oriented approach to securing gender equality, Minister Mariya has stated that by using targeted recruitment strategies, Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has enrolled more female soldiers over the past 2-and-a-half years, than any other time in the institution’s 128-year-old history. Minister also added that in January,  a record number of female soldiers attained promotions.

Minister Mariya also said the government is fully confident that the synergies of women and men should be combined to effectively deal with present-day threats.

Minister also highlighted the recent achievements where 3 Officers made history by being the first female soldiers to attain the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The Advisory Council of the MNDF, which is the highest rung of decision-making within the apex organization, was then reconfigured to allow Lieutenant Colonels in, so that women can sit on the esteemed Council for the first time. The institution began admitting female soldiers only 32 years ago.

We have included female representation in all executive boards within the organization, and are giving unprecedented training and development opportunities to female soldiers.

Mariya Ahmed Didi, Minister of Defence

Minister Mariya talked about the  the first female Maldivian soldier that was sent for a Commissioning Course at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK, Officer Cadet Firushana Thaufeeq, who won the Best International Student Award earlier this week.

Minister Mariya listed crucial dynamic steps taken by the government, outside the military, such as the reservation of 33 percent of all local council seats for women, the appointment of two female Justices to the Supreme Court, and the appointment of a female Minister of Defence among several other female Cabinet Ministers.