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Woman speaking at the Practice Parliament for Women 2021

Gender Equality


out of 191 countries

in the Gender Inequality Index 2021



in the parliament in 2021


Gender Development Index 2021

indicating medium equality in Human Development Index (HDI) 2021-22 achievement between women and men


Empowering women and making gender equality a reality is a core commitment of UNDP. Pervasive gender inequality remains a barrier to progress, justice and social stability. It also hinders the achievement of development goals. We recognize that women’s empowerment and gender equality are cross-cutting issues that lie at the heart of human development.

We have less than a decade to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, therefore it is vital to ensure that everyone has access to education, healthcare, decent work, a life free from discrimination and abuse, and political representation.  In addition to basic needs, women have equal rights to land and property, access & knowledge of sexual and reproductive health services and rights, and access to technology and the usage of the internet.  

In depth

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development envisions a world of universal respect for human rights and human dignity in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed.

Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Gender equality is reflected in 45 targets and 54 gender-specific indicators of the SDGs. Achieving these targets and closing the gender gaps will therefore create a multiplier effect across all of the SDGs and accelerate their achievement.

With the largest operational platform within the UN system, working on the ground in some 170 countries and territories, our work and expertise are central to achieving the SDGs. This unique position has prompted UNDP to adopt the Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021, which commits the organization to intensify its efforts to mainstream gender equality across all of its areas of work. 

Our role

In everything we do, we are committed to promoting gender equality in all aspects of our work. Our goal is to empower women and girls by ensuring they have full access to their rights and equal opportunities, both in the public and private spheres. We believe that gender equality is essential for creating a fair and just society, where women can make decisions and thrive on an equal footing with men.

In the Maldives, we work closely with the government and partners to address gender inequalities through our gender-focused programs. Our goal is to shift underlying power dynamics, relations, and structures that determine development, while ensuring that women's contributions, experiences, and needs are taken into account. Setting this as a foundation will ensure a future where both men and women can live in harmony, by creating effective, equitable policies and interventions that leave no one behind.

At UNDP Maldives, we are dedicated to building our capacity to achieve transformative change. We strive to enhance our knowledge, skills, and attitudes to create an enabling environment that supports our team and partners in improving performance and incorporating the UNDP values of gender equality.

The promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women is central to the mandate of UNDP and intrinsic to its development approach. Our work is aligned with the UNDP Gender Equality Strategy to: 

  • Contribute to gender-equal and sustainable economies

  • Reinvigorate inclusive governance, participation and women’s leadership 

  • Support equal societies to build resilience 

  • Put gender equality at the heart of caring for people and the planet 

  • Close gender gaps in access to modern energy 

  • Accelerate the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women

At UNDP Maldives, we are committed to achieving transformative change by building our capacity, knowledge, skills, and attitudes. We are dedicated to creating an enabling environment that supports our country office team in improving performance and incorporating the UNDP values of gender equality among partners and stakeholders. We believe that promoting gender equality is vital for effective climate action, and as such, we strive to enhance our efforts towards "Effective Climate Action through Gender Representation" and "Equal Voices, Equal Solutions for Climate Action." 

Key numbers/statistics:  

  • In 2021, Maldives was 0.348 in Gender Inequality Index.

  • Out of the 568,362 total population, 36% are women and 64% are men 

  • Graduate output in higher education: 37% are women and 63% are men 

  • Labour force participation rate (2019): 45.6% women and 77.1% men 

  • Women are more likely to spend more hours on informal employment- 44% of women and 36% of men work in informal employment 

  • In 2020, reported cases on violence against women were 179 cases of physical violence, 36 cases of sexual violence and 92 cases of psychological violence