Delivered on 21 June 2018
Delivered by H.E Dr. Hala Hameed, Ambassador |Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
Thank you, Mr. President,
Allow me to begin by thanking the panelists for their insightful presentations today. We welcome the focus of the panel on such a paramount topic; on advancing women’s rights in the economic sphere through access and participation in information and communication technologies (ICTs).
We strongly believe in the vital role of technology and in its various forms of ICT can play in transforming women’s lives positively and also, as an enabler for development. This link is specifically reflected in SDG 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women, which includes a specific target on utilizing technology and ICTs to realize women’s and girls’ empowerment.
In the Maldives, ICT is widely used to promote both large and small businesses alike, which provides alternate platforms to market products and gain more visibility. Use of ICT has opened up greater opportunities for Maldivian women to pursue entrepreneurship, and gain economic empowerment.
In terms of social rights of vulnerable groups, the Government as well as civil society continuously use ICT for its advocacy and outreach efforts, including social media platforms. This is further enhanced with the Maldives 4G internet coverage provided across the dispersed island nation which continues to provide multiple avenues for advancing the social, cultural and economic rights and for reducing social inequalities.
ICT has been an integral part of the policy and developmental framework. We recognize the closer link between education, employment, and professional advancement. We have achieved high literacy rates and gender parity in education. The Maldives education sector has immensely benefited through the use of ICT. Notable progress include the establishment of virtual learning platforms in 9 schools which have less than 50 students, allowing children in remote and small islands to interact with and learn from teachers based in the capital, Male’. Further, E learning platforms are in place to train teachers in other islands. The Maldives is also in the process of digitalizing the education system.
Let me conclude by reiterating the Government of Maldives commitment to continue the use ICT in its progressive approach to promote social and economic rights and to reduce inequalities.
Thank you, Mr. President.