15 May 2014, Male'; The Bill on Sexual Abuse and Harrassment and the Bill on Sexual Offences are landmark laws in the fight towards eliminating gender based violence" said Her Excellency Ms Dunya Maumoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs. President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom ratified the two bills on 13 May 2014. They were passed by the Parliament at the Eight Sitting of its First Session on 27 April 2014.



Welcoming the ratification of the two bills, Minister Dunya noted that the Maldives has been working to improve the legislative framework on gender based violence and gender discrimination, while working to adopt the norms and traditions associated with gender equality. In this regard, she reiterated the Government's efforts to formulate and pass the two bills on sexual harassment and sexual offences, as well as in promoting the rights enshrined in the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and gender mainstreaming in the Maldives.

Noting the numerous incidences of violence against women around the world, Minister Dunya particularly noted the recent abducting of more than 200 school girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria. "Such incidents against young girls should not happen anywhere in the world. Children must be protected, and their right to an education, to a safe life, must be guaranteed regardless of gender", said Minister Dunya, while also condemning acts of violence against young girls and women in Maldives.

The Minister once again highlighted the Government's and her own commitment to eradicating gender based violence and to gender equality in the Maldives and around the world.

ENDS