President Mohamed Nasheed and First Lady Laila Ali have last evening hosted a dinner in honour of the participants of the Forum on the “Role of Women in Development”. The dinner was held at the Official Residence of the President, Muleeaagé.

The forum, held from 4 to 6 January, was organised by the Department of Gender and Family Protection Services. The objective of the forum was to identify the areas of change for the management of Women’s Development Committees, and discuss the women’s roles in contributing to the future development of the country.

Speaking on the importance of legally empowering Women’s Development Committees, the President said, such development committees should be brought under the legal framework of the government. He said this was crucial for the sustainability of their activities.

Participants of the forum presented a draft document of three key recommendations to broaden the role of women in the development. The forum also called for greater involvement of women in the decentralisation of administration.

The President said, since their recommendations would be realised through the People’s Majlis, he would try to include these recommendations in the Decentralisation Bill.

The Decentralisation Bill was withdrawn from the People’s Majlis in order to resolve the deadlock at the parliament over the Bill.