Gender Minister resigns from post

Gender Minister, Shidhatha Shareef has resigned from her post.

Shidhatha made the decision to step down from her post after several members of main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) called for her resignation due to increasing number of child abuse cases surfacing across the country. It has been revealed to AVAS that Shidhatha made this decision on Thursday after deliberating with employees at the Gender Ministry while the parliamentary group of MDP, that holds super majority in the parliament had on Wednesday made the decision to seek a no-confidence motion against Shidhatha to remove her from her post.

Shidhatha, who has served for over 18 years in the social sector was heavily criticized over the past few weeks after several cases of sexual abuse of children and other forms of negligence surfaced across the country. The backlash intensified after it became known that a disabled youth was allowed to reside under the care of the former Disability Ambassador Ahmed Hishan, despite being made aware of sexual abuse allegations against him. The issue was heavily debated during Wednesday's parliament sitting.

During Wednesday's parliament sitting, several members of the ruling party had called for Shidhatha to step down, claiming that she had failed to protect children and effectively fulfill her responsibilities. If she refuses to step down, the party will pursue her dismissal through the parliament, they had stated.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Thursday accepted Shidhatha's resignation, and thanked her for her service and wished her good fortune in future endeavors. The President has also decided to appoint Ms. Aishath Mohamed Didi, presently ambassador (High Commissioner) in New Delhi as the Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services.