Press Release

Maldives: First visit by UN experts on discrimination against women and girls

07 September 2022

GENEVA (7 September 2022)  ̶  A United Nations expert group on discrimination against women and girls will undertake its first official visit to the Maldives from 11 to 22 September 2022 to assess progress and challenges in achieving gender equality and eliminating discrimination against women and girls in the country.

“The Working Group is particularly interested in legislative reforms and policies that have been implemented in the Maldives to promote the rights of women and girls, eliminate structural discrimination and achieve substantive gender equality,” the experts said.

The experts will examine multiple aspects of women’s and girls’ lives: political and public, economic and social, family and cultural life, health and safety, including gender-based violence against women and girls as a manifestation of discrimination and barriers to access to justice as crosscutting issues, employing a life cycle approach.

“We are interested in learning about achievements and promising practices, as well as the local historical and cultural context and existing gaps and challenges in the spirit of engaging in a constructive dialogue”, the experts said.

The experts, who are invited by the Government, will meet concerned stakeholders in Malé, Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Maafushi in Kaafu Atoll, Maduvaree in Raa Atoll, Guraidhoo and Gulheefalhu in Kaafu Atoll.

They will pay particular attention to women and girls who encounter multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including among others those living in remote areas, women with disabilities, older women, migrant women, women in detention, and adolescent girls, as well as the gendered risks of climate change.

They will meet with national and local authorities, women and girls, civil society organisations, academics, journalists, political leaders, UN entities and other international stakeholders. The visiting delegation will include Melissa Upreti and Meskerem Geset Techane, respectively Chairperson and Member of the Working Group.

The experts will present their preliminary observations at a press conference on Thursday, 22 September 2022, at 2:00 pm (local time) at the Hotel Maagiri in Malé. Access to the press conference will be strictly limited to accredited journalists.

The Working Group will submit its full report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2023.


The UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls was created by the Human Rights Council in 2011 to identify, promote and exchange views, in consultation with States and other actors, on good practices related to the elimination of laws that discriminate against women. The Group is also tasked with developing a dialogue with States and other actors on laws that have a discriminatory impact where women are concerned. 

The Working Group is composed of five independent experts: Ms Melissa Upreti (Nepal), Chairperson; Ms Dorothy Estrada Tanck (Mexico),Vice Chairperson; Ms Elizabeth Broderick (Australia); Ms Ivana Radačić (Croatia); and Ms Meskerem Geset Techane (Ethiopia).

The Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN entities involved in this initiative

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office

Goals we are supporting through this initiative