We are pleased to announce that the Transparency Maldives publication ‘Assessment of Women’s Development Committees in the Maldives’ is being launched today to mark the International Women’s Day.
Women’s Development Committees (WDC) are a traditional women’s institution in the Maldives, and are an important platform for women to enter into politics and participate in the decision making process of island development. Despite the fact that WDCs are unable to operate as mandated in the Decentralisation Act, it is paramount that WDCs continue to exist and adequate support mechanisms are developed to steer WDCs to fulfil their mandate.
TM’s Assessment of Women’s Development Committees in the Maldives indicates that financial and resource constraints, poor working relationships with the Island Councils and negative public perception towards women in public life are the main challenges faced by Women’s Development Committees (WDCs) across the Maldives.
The following is a list of recommendations based on our research findings:
- Councils must consult WDCs as stipulated in the Decentralisation Act
- Clarify the role of regulatory bodies and support structures in relation to WDCs
- Build the capacity of WDCs to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills
- Island Councils should develop resource sharing mechanisms to support WDCs
- Provide financial support for WDCs and secure additional sources of funding
- Men should be able to contest in and vote for WDC elections
The recommendations identified in the Assessment intend to provide a basis for the development of strategic actions that promote the role, participation and representation of women in public life. It is hoped that the findings from this assessment provide further impetus for the relevant authorities to establish better coordination amongst stakeholders to meet the needs of WDCs and to implement effective capacity building initiatives.
View/download the Assessment of Women’s Development Committees in the Maldives