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'A society cannot make progress unless women have equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities' says Maldives Gender Minister


New York, 15 March, 2017; Minister of Gender and Family of the Maldives, Her Excellency Zenysha Zaki, voiced the importance of equal opportunities and protection of rights of women at the sixty-first Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

Addressing during the general debate today, Minister Zenysha stressed on the important role of women in society and the need for their economic empowerment. She also highlighted initiatives by the Government of Maldives aimed at empowering women and promoting their participation in the economy. She said that 'society cannot make progress unless women have equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities'.

In her statement, the Minister also stressed the importance of investing in children's education, raising awareness and empowering girls and women. She also called for the necessity of ending gender based violence for the realization of gender equality.

One of the milestone achievements on the work towards gender equality in the Maldives has been the legislation passed by the parliament last August. Highlighting some aspects from it, the Minister said the Gender Equality Act of the Maldives prohibits all forms of gender discrimination and enshrines in law, the principle of equal pay for equal work.

The sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women is taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 13 to 24 March 2017. This year's theme of the session is 'women's economic empowerment in the changing world of work'.

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