The Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) is drafting a bill on domestic violence, hoping to create more comprehensive legislation for victims and perpetrators of violence in the home.
DRP MP Rozaina Adams said the bill would encompass legislation on both physical and sexual violence against women and children.
She said most people are not willing to talk about these issues, and “women are not sure they can get help through the system, so they stay quiet.”
The bill also aims to improve how people who report these cases are dealt with, and to give more security and assistance to anyone affected by domestic violence.
Rozaina said Independent MP for Kulhudhuffushi-South Mohamed Nasheed was assisting the DRP in drafting the bill.
“He was going to present the bill himself, but because we have a women’s wing he said he would help us,” Rozaina added.
She said they are working to see if they can present the bill at the next parliamentary session.
DRP Spokesperson Ibrahim Shareef said the bill was being drafted on a previous model. “There was a legislative framework considered by the previous government,” he said.
He explained the bill was being drafted to ensure “the protection of women and children according to international standards.”
He said the DRP “will forward it to the Majlis in due time.”
In early March this year, former president and former leader of the DRP, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, expressed his concerns over “false information” being spread by the Islamic Ministry on women’s rights according to Islam.
He said he provided rights for women under his government, especially by giving them equal opportunity in politics, and criticised the current government for not making legislation to minimise violence against women.
Gayoom’s daughter and leader of the DRP’s Women’s Wing, Dhunya Maumoon, announced the drafting of the bill.