Two key amendments have been proposed to the Constitution by members of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and The Democrats, aiming to increase female representation in the Maldivian Parliament and adjust the criteria for determining the number of parliament members based on population.

The first proposal, introduced by Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam from the MDP, seeks to allocate 33% of parliamentary seats to women. This initiative is designed to enhance the participation of women in legislative processes, addressing the current underrepresentation.

According to the amendment, the specific constituencies for this quota will be selected via a lottery system, with subsequent legislative action required to formalise the election of women to these designated seats. The rationale behind Rozaina’s amendment is to ensure a broader inclusion of women in politics, thus reflecting the nation’s commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women in public life.

Complementing this initiative, Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim of The Democrats has proposed modifications to Articles 71 and 72 of the Constitution, aimed at both capping the number of parliamentarians and establishing a reserved seat quota for female parliamentarians.

Azim’s amendments suggest a restructuring of the population brackets that determine the number of members per administrative division, potentially reducing the overall number of parliament members. 

His proposal mandates political parties to allocate one out of every ten candidacies to female candidates, a move intended to ensure a minimum level of female participation in parliamentary elections.

These proposed amendments come at a time when the representation of women in the Parliament is critically low, with only five female members in the current assembly. The initiatives by Rozaina and Azim highlight a growing consensus on the need for legislative reforms to encourage female participation in politics. 

These changes are aimed at taking effect from the 2029 parliamentary term, indicating a long-term vision for gender balance in political representation.

The collaboration between MDP and The Democrats signifies a united front on the issue of gender equality. This partnership raises the prospects for the successful passage of these amendments.