President urges local councils to support Women’s Development Committees during third session of Viavathi Raajje

Panelists at third session of Viavathi Raajje campaign | Photo: PO

Alif Alif Atoll, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday called on local councils to strengthen support and assistance for Women’s Development Committees (WDCs). President Solih this morning chaired the third session of the Viavathi Raajje conference, underway in Ukulhas Island of the Alifu Alifu Atoll, focusing on the administration’s efforts to empower women, the inclusion of women, and the role of WDCs in the development of society.

One of the complaints noted during the President’s meetings with some of the WDCs over the past year reflected the lack of support from local councils, with a few WDCs raising the issue of incommensurate working environments. He then urged the help of local councils to address this concern.

The President also highlighted the initiatives of his administration to empower women. He ratified amendments to the Decentralisation Act in December 2019, allocating a third of council seats to women, which saw the election of 388 women to local councils. Coupled with the election of WDCs, the President said that women’s role in development is growing exponentially.

President Solih was joined on the panel by Uza Mariya Ahmed Didi, Minister of Defence; Ibrahim Ameer, Minister of Finance; Aishath Mohamed Didi, Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services; Fathimath Afshan Latheef, Chief Executive Officer of the Local Government Authority (LGA); and Uza Hisaan Hussain, Member of Parliament for Thulhaadhoo constituency and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Decentralisation.

A presentation on Social Diversity and Climate Change Mitigation was also featured before the session, focusing on climate change and its detrimental effects on small island nations, adaptation, and strengthening social diversity.

The Viavathi Raajje conference, held on Ukulhas Island, is aimed at local council representatives and presidents of WDCs from the central atolls. It is also attended by ministers, policy executives from the President’s Office, and technical experts from various institutions.