This is the first cycle of the 2022 Practice Parliament series
Practice Parliament for Women Concludes
May 30, 2022
Male’, 28 May 2022: The first cycle of the Practice Parliament for Women programme for this year – held from 22-28 May 2022 – has concluded. This programme is part of the Practice Parliament series conducted by the People’s Majlis of the Maldives in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives, with the support of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The Practice Parliament for Women focuses on enabling women to be more involved in the decision-making processes in the country by increasing capacity development and training programmes for women active in the political arena to build their skills and knowledge to contest for elected positions. This cycle of the Practice Parliament for Women saw the successful completion of the programme by 36 women (aged over 25 years), including 5 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). Participants represent women leaders from all across the country.
“Australia is committed to protecting the rights of women and girls and promoting their positive and active role in shaping communities. The Australian Government’s COVID-19 development response strategy, “Partnerships for Recovery” recognizes the importance of women and girls’ meaningful engagement for inclusive development. This strategy and DFAT’s agenda of gender equality and women’s empowerment strategy highlight the critical importance of involving women and girls in policy development and implementation,” said H.E Amanda Jewell, Deputy Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Over the course of the 7-day programme, participants were informed on the fundamentals of civic education, key parliamentary processes, and relevant policy issues, followed by a Practice Parliament Sitting where they performed model parliamentary proceedings.
Sessions were conducted by People’s Majlis and UNDP Maldives along with different government and civil society organisation partners, including the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services, Attorney General’s Office, Information Commissioner’s Office, Local Government Authority and Transparency Maldives, touching on key topics such as the national Gender Equality Action Plan, different types of law-making, Right to Information, decentralisation in the Maldives and challenges to social cohesion.
The participants also met with the Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Hon. President Mohamed Nasheed and Deputy Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Hon. Eva Abdulla. Participants also had a Q&A session with the first female Deputy Speaker of the People’s Majlis, Ms. Aneesa Ahmed.
“I am extremely grateful for and excited by the implementation of this programme and the way that it is reaching women who need these types of programmes the most,” said Hon. Jeehan Mahmood, MP for the Hinnavaru Constituency. “The skillsets that this Practice Parliament programme has instilled will be useful for these women everywhere, at any time in their lives, especially in leadership positions.”
Practice Parliament builds on the concept of experiential learning to provide the opportunity for aspiring individuals to learn by doing, build new networks and allies through shared understanding, engage in dialogue with other individuals of the same cohort to further inform their values and perspectives, and enable them to acquire new skills at a practical setting to improve their ability to become effective change makers and legislators.
The first Practice Parliament for Women in 2021 saw the participation of 48 women leaders, including 2 PWDs, from across five atolls (Kaafu, Laamu, Seenu, Gnaviyani and Meemu atolls).
“Despite some progress, women’s proven capacities as leaders and agents of change are yet to be fully embraced. Underrepresentation of women in politics as well as in productive sectors of society continue. We are committed to working with our partners to build the blocks of an inclusive, equitable and caring society; one that has those at the margins in care, and one that transcends into women’s meaningful participation in the socio-economic and political spheres of Maldives,” said Enrico Gaveglia, UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives.
UNDP Maldives in partnership with People’s Majlis of the Maldives will be conducting two additional cycles of the initiative this year – another Practice Parliament for Women programme and one Practice Parliament for Youth programme.
The call for applications for the next Practice Parliament for Youth and Practice Parliament for Women will be announced in June and July 2022 respectively.
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