Vulnerable groups in Maldives have been acutely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, despite substantial state measures to safeguard the population and tackle economic impacts. For the most vulnerable, existing inequalities have been exacerbated and critical needs have intensified.
How we are helping
This project will enable civil society organisations (CSOs), vulnerable groups and government to collaboratively ensure that plans and policies put in place to respond to the pandemic address the needs and circumstances of vulnerable people.
About the project
The impact of the pandemic on the Maldives has been severe: devastating an economy that relies heavily on tourism.
The Government of Maldives responded to the pandemic by developing the National Emergency Preparedness, Readiness and Response Plan for Covid-19 and establishing a multi-sectoral Technical Advisory Group to provide technical guidance for the response. The National Disaster Management Authority and the Health Protection Agency were tasked with coordinating multi-sectoral efforts to safeguard the population from the pandemic.
Other initiatives include an Economic Recovery Plan to provide relief for businesses, employees and the self-employed; and an Emergency Income Support Project to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic on workers and their families and increase the capacity of social protection programmes to respond to future emergencies.
Despite these efforts, the pandemic has disproportionately affected vulnerable groups such as children, elderly, persons living with disabilities, women and girls, and youth. Both the Maldives Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Gender, and the Ministry of Gender Family and Social Services have noted an increase in cases of gender-based and domestic violence.
This project aims to support the development of inclusive and gender-responsive plans and policies that address the needs of the most vulnerable during the pandemic.
The project will achieve this by:
- holding targeted consultations with vulnerable groups to get their feedback and recommendations on plans and policies
- holding multi-stakeholder dialogues and consultations to review existing plans and policies with a view to making recommendations for improvement; the multi-stakeholder platform will consist of CSOs, government and representatives of vulnerable groups
- using the same multi-stakeholder platform to advocate for inclusive and gender-sensitive plans and policies to respond to the pandemic; the platform will also advocate for the collection of data on gender-related effects of policies
Women and Democracy is a women-led civil society organisation constituted in 2016. It is working towards women's economic and political participation and good democratic governance in Maldives. Women and Democracy continues to strive for gender equality in leadership through its activities of research, awareness raising and advocacy. The organisation recently implemented a national level project on ‘The gender equality manifesto’ through which it brought gender issues in legislations, policies and statutory mechanisms to the attention of policy makers and the executive arm of government.
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