American Women for International Understanding is pleased to Honor the US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage with an event each March.
Aneesa Ahmed of Maldives
Aneesa Ahmed stands out as a staunch advocate for ending gender-based violence (GBV) in the Maldives. While serving as Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, she raised the issue of domestic violence at a time when the subject was taboo. After leaving the government, she founded the NGO “Hope for Women” and began conducting sessions on GBV with students, Maldives Police Services, and other frontline workers. When religious scholars began identifying female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) as a practice supported by Islam on national radio, Ms. Ahmed asked the government to intervene, and spoke out publicly about the harmful effects of FGM/C. By openly discussing issues like these and promoting awareness through her NGO, Ms. Ahmed plays a key role in bringing these issues into public discourse and pressing the government to take action.