The ongoing conflict between moderate Muslims and more fundamentalists threatens the rights of women in the Maldives. UN Commissioner Navi Pillay recently visited the islands where she was condemned by radical Islamists because she criticised flogging of women who had sex relations out of wedlock although men were never punished for the same behavior. “Flog Pillay” and ” Ban UN” greeted her comments. Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed agreed fundamentalists were a new group who did not respect female rights.
Female circumcision increasingly is imposed on young females. ?Shadiya Ibrahim noted: “being a woman is harder now. The religious Wahhabist scholars preach more forcefully than anyone else can. No one can make a an argument for a more liberal, a more positive attitude towards women.”
Dark days lie ahead for Maldivian women.