New study by NCTC and UNDP with support of the Government of Japan focuses on a gender-inclusive approach to peace-building
Malé, 9 March, 2021: A new report released today titled, ‘Women as Peace Builders and Agents of Change in the Maldives’, alludes to how applying a gender perspective in peace and political processes can mitigate bias, prevent further undermining of women’s rights, and ensure inclusive and sustainable peacemaking and peace-building.
The report is based on a study conducted by the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives, with the generous support of the Government of Japan. The report launching was held at the Ministry of Defence, with attendance of the Minister of Defence, Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services, Ambassador of Japan to Maldives, UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives, and representatives from Counter Terrorism Steering Committee, Counter Radicalization Committee and NCTC, with the rest of the delegation joining virtually.
“Violent extremism isolates a group from the mainstream, using religion as a shield of convenience, to break apart a well-functioning society,” stated Uza. Mariya Didi, Minister of Defence.
The study successfully identifies essential steps to meaningfully engage women in the decision-making that frames and impacts their lives at all levels. It seeks to understand the role and influence of women in radicalization, de-radicalization, violent extremism and disengagement, and as PVE advocates. The findings of the research will contribute to knowledge generation and insight into potential interventions, including possible narratives and micro-narratives based on literature review and data collection. The findings will also support the government in designing and implementation of interventions focusing on prevention of radicalization and violent extremism in the Maldives.
“It is a proven fact that involvement of women in formal peace-making processes and negotiations, had reduced the risk of violence and rather contributed to achieving sustainable peace,” stated Aishath Mohamed Didi, Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services.
“Gender equality and empowerment of women are indispensable for promoting human security. The inclusion of women can and must take many forms; one that includes women could play more pivotal roles from the bottom up as well as from the top down, while engaging multiple stakeholders. In order to effectively engage women, it is critical that efforts should be made to prioritize women’s rights, empowerment, participation and leadership — both at the community level as well as in national decision-making,” Keiko Yanai, Ambassador of Japan to Maldives stated.
“Each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals recognizes critical roles that women play. The report findings provide a clear evidence that it is also the case in Maldives. I hope the findings will assist the government in implementing the National Action Plan on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism 2020 – 2024 with accelerated participation and leadership by women at all levels, and support the government to achieve SDG 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions for all,” said Akiko Fujii, UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives, speaking at the launching ceremony.
The study paves way for future-looking strategies that would ensure women’s participation and leadership in preventing violent extremism, to ensure they are included in processes, policymaking, and interventions, and serve as advisors in preventing violent extremism.
Press Release in DHIVEHI
Speech by UNDP Resident Representative, Akiko Fujii