The Maldives consists of a small population inhabiting 199 islands dispersed over a large geographical area. Traditionally Maldivian women and men assume stereotypical gender roles.
However, women were involved in various activities in the country’s main industry, fishing. While men caught the fish, the women were involved in smoking, drying and processing of fish. Women also played a significant role in the cultivation of crops and making of handicraft. With the modernisation and diversification of the economy and the resulting rapid economic growth during the past 30 years, the Maldives has undergone considerable advancements in terms of development. However, despite the rapid development of the economy, women have not been able to keep pace with their male counterparts, mainly due to changing over from the traditional methods of fish processing into modern methods which are less labour intensive, as well as the societal norms that prevent women from going out of their home island in search of opportunities.
Women’s Development Committees (WDCs) is an elective body in all inhabited islands and all the wards of the capital, Male’, under the Island and city council offices to work towards eliminating existing gender disparities and raising the health, education and economic status of women.
Maldives Development Alliance has its majority of councilors and Women’s Development Committees (WDC) in Atolls such as; Daalu, Noonu, and Raa.
The Women Development committee is represented by five members. Each committee works and strives for development and participates in different roles in contributing toward social, economic, and political fields in the development of the respective council.