Tuesday, January 23, 2007

"Maldives continues to discriminate against women"

"In a recent meeting of the United Nations General Assembly’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, a Maldive government minister, Mrs. Aishath Didi, described the prohibition on women heads of state as “odd” and “an anachronism”. The fact is that Islam clearly does not allow female heads of state.
Until 31 December 1952, the Maldive constitution allowed for a female head of state. As late as 1952 a woman (who is still alive) was nominated to become regnant monarch. The nomination was vetoed by the mullahs who insisted on removing this loophole when a new constitution was enacted on New Year's Day 1953.
Until the mid 20th century the Maldives was only nominally Islamic, with custom and traditional norms taking precedence over Islam in almost every walk of life. Until 1964, every year on a prescribed day, the chief mullah (this office is now merged with that of the president of the republic) issued a proclamation reminding Maldivians and the government of their obligations under Islam. These were promptly ignored by both the citizenry and the government. Maldive women had the freedom to dress according to indigenous norms and give their children Divehi language names. They also had the freedom to be governed by female rulers. One by one, these indigenous freedoms were assaulted by the mullahs. It looks increasingly likely that very soon every Maldive women would be forced into the outlandish Islamic head-dress called hijab by decree."

The above is from an interesting article at maldivesroyalfamily.com that descibes how the Maldives has back-pedalled on giving equal rights to women.

"The Maldives acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on 1 July 1993. In spite of this it continues to violate international law in contravention of CEDAW.
Upon accession the Maldives made the following reservation:
1.The Government of the Republic of Maldives will comply with the provisions of the Convention, except those which the Government may consider contradictory to the principles of the Islamic Sharia upon which the laws and traditions of the Maldives is founded.
2.Furthermore, the Republic of Maldives does not see itself bound by any provisions of the Convention which obliges to change its Constitution and laws in any manner.

On 23 June 1999 the Maldives modified the reservation as follows:
1.The Government of the Republic of Maldives expresses its reservation to article 7 (a) of the Convention, to the extent that the provision contained in the said paragraph conflicts with the provision of article 34 of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives .
2.The Government of the Republic of Maldives reserves its right to apply article 16 of the Convention concerning the equality of men and women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations without prejudice to the provisions of the Islamic Sharia, which govern all marital and family relations of the 100 percent Muslim population of the Maldives .

By basing a reservation to an international treaty on domestic law and changing a reservation after it has been made, the Maldives is in breach of Articles 27 and 19 respectively, of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. After a State Party has bound itself to a treaty under international law it can no longer submit new reservations or extend or add to old reservations. It is only possible to totally or partially withdraw original reservations.
The Maldives submitted the revised reservations after it enacted a new constitution that violated CEDAW nearly four years after acceding to the convention.

In the new reservations, a reference was also made to the Maldive authorities' ad nauseam claim that the Maldives is 100% Islamic. This reference was not made in the earlier reservation. In 1998 a number of Maldive Christians were arrested and tortured in prison, many of them women. Several American and European nationals were deported following the arrest of the Maldive Christians. The Maldive mullahs felt that it was necessary to issue a warning to the international community and teach the world a lesson over the issue of the local Christians. This warning to the world came in the form of the deportations and the amended reservations to CEDAW."

The editorial is important reading for Maldivians. To read the full article click here.


  1. there was no need to write such a long article abt that u know... we all know in Maldives women are discriminated :-)

    not only in maldives, everywhere in the world.

  2. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Good cannot exist without bad, and liberalization of women have its ill effects too... I will say Maldivian women's are more liberal than you think and it makes them more interesting! However, the bad side of it is that they are more subjected to abuse, devaluation of social and family values... Women today are sexual icons, marketing tool & source of guilty pleasures. Why do you think we have a 50/50 percent divorce rate? Do you ever think of what will happen to a family, the kids when their parents get separated?

  3. Anonymous9:56 AM

    The way things are going (and by that I mean if the Haabees have their way) things could become even worse for Maldivian women. Maldives could become the next Afghanistan. But there have been several positive changes coming about due to the multiparty politics... but with Adhaalath Party bringing out fatwa's everytime a woman raises her voice, things could get worse too. Just have to wait and see...

  4. Anonymous9:56 AM

    The way things are going (and by that I mean if the Haabees have their way) things could become even worse for Maldivian women. Maldives could become the next Afghanistan. But there have been several positive changes coming about due to the multiparty politics... but with Adhaalath Party bringing out fatwa's everytime a woman raises her voice, things could get worse too. Just have to wait and see...

  5. Anonymous10:12 AM

    I invite your to read my blog entry on the subject of women freedom


  6. Anonymous3:11 AM

    We have a high divorce rate because we gave up on the old system and opted for the Islamic system.
    Just say it three times and voila..divorced.

  7. Haamundi4:36 AM

    Before Islam introduced divorce, Maldives was a Buddhist country where divorced was unheard of. Many isolated communities retained this tradition until recently. The last community to be forced to abandon this proud heritage was the people of Giraavaru near Male. They had to leave Giraavaru because Sunni Islam of the Shaafii school of thought does not permit communities of less than 40 adult males. That is the number required to form a quorum in the Friday prayers. Accordingly the Islamic seykus in the Maldives in the mid-1960s persuaded the government to pass a law forcing such communities to be forced to move. The Giraavaru people were first moved to Hulhule and then to Male. The first divorce in the history of the Giraavaru community occurred after they came into daily contact with more Islamised people in Male. Someone asked the question "Why do you think we have a 50/50 percent divorce rate?” Now you have the answer. It has nothing to do with Maldivian women becoming more liberal but because they became more Islamic. How many wives did Prophet Mohamed marry and how many did he divorce? He divorced his second wife simply because she became fat, old and ugly. Maldivians are simply following holy Sunnah.

  8. Anonymous1:48 AM

    I am a decedent of the so called Giraavaru, and I can guarantee you they were divorce not as a religious duty! But a result of the new social paradigm...

    If you want to know prophet Mohamed did spend his nearly entire life up to 53 years with one women... Your late fifties is not the most horny age!

    As per narration of Ibn Ishaq, Hafsa was divorced but Mohamed then took her back.
    Al-Tabari vol.9 footnote 884 p.131.

  9. Anonymous1:54 AM

    And Hafsa was divorced not because she was fat but after a husband - wife conflict!

  10. Kokadi8:48 AM

    Ibn al-’Arabi, a great Muslim scholar has said: "... when Sauda bint Zam’ah became old, the Prophet of Allah wanted to divorce her. However, she preferred to remain amongst his wives, so she said, ‘Keep me, and my day shall belong to ‘Aisha’, and he did, and thus she died as one of his wives. Ibn Abi Malikah declared that this verse [Q- 4:128] was revealed regarding ‘Aisha. And in this verse is the answer to those light headed fools who say that if a man took the youth of a woman and she became old he cannot replace her. So praise be to Allah who lifted such burden and made an escape from such dilemma."

    When Sauda bint Zam'ah became old, fat and ugly, Mohamed simply stopped sleeping with her and forced her to let him sleep with his child wife Aisha. This example is followed by many in Maldives these days. Will you do that Yusuf?

    Read the full ugly tale of that depraved pedophile here www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Newton/sauda.html

  11. Anonymous4:27 AM

    wow! they know the intentions and the thoughts of Mohammed (pbuh) too "Prophet of Allah wanted to..." How ironic is this?