Mr. President,

Let me begin by thanking the panelists for their insightful presentations today.

Despite the extensive condemnation of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and the numerous efforts taken to eliminate it, this continues to be a dark reality for many women in various parts of the world. The Maldives, as a small island developing state is encouraged by the positive efforts taken to eliminate discrimination against women and promote gender equality. Working towards SDG 5 for gender equality remains a priority for the Government of Maldives.

Mr. President,

Violence against women is the severest form of discrimination, which robs women of their dignity and impacts greatly on their future. By enforcing several key legislations including the Domestic Violence Prevention Act to combat gender based violence, Maldives is tackling the issue with commitment and we agree that the conversation on gender equality, non-discrimination and the rights of women will not be fruitful without the engagement of men and boys.

The Ministry of Gender conducts regular awareness programmes to sensitize island communities on the need to break gender stereotype roles, which are deeply entrenched in the society as these traditions inhibit and limit women from active participation in society. The Maldives is also party to the HeForShe campaign launched by UN Women to educate men and boys of the need for inclusivity and gender equality.

Mr. President,

For the society to experience phenomenal positive change in empowering women to be on an equal footing, visible and active in society, it is imperative to lead an inclusive approach, without distinctive gender roles. Therefore, Maldives would like to reiterate the importance of building strategies to examine the role of men and boys in gender socialization and develop the opportunities for them to play an active role in addressing all forms of discrimination and violence against women.

My delegation would like to ask the distinguished panelists about their suggested good practices and innovative strategies on how to engage men and boys into efforts to promote human rights of women and tackle gender based violence.

Thank you Mr. President.