Hope for Women’s first round of women councillor’s training workshops has begun today, with representatives from four Island Women’s Development Committees (IWDC) from four atolls taking part.
“The workshops will focus on identifying challenges and solutions to improve the performance of IWDCs in assisting island councillors to develop and implement an effective strategic action plan,” explained a Hope for Women press release.
The workshops are part of the women’s rights NGO’s two-year ‘Supporting Women’s Leadership and Political Participation in the Maldives’ initiative – funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund – which aims to increase the capacity and performance of the current 59 women councillors, and members of the IWDCs.
Key priorities for development will be identified with the guidance of experts from areas such as community building, gender, politics, project planning, and local governance.
The 2010 Decentralisation Act created IWDCs for the purpose of generating income for the development of local women, working to increase religious awareness, and to improve the health, education, and political participation of women.
The Maldives again moved down the World Economic Forum’s Gender Disparity Index this year, dropping 8 places to 105th out of 142 countries. Promoting gender equality and empowering women is one of the three Millenium Development Goals yet to be reached by the country.