The population of Maldives has increased rapidly during the last few decades. However with a population of nearly 270,000 the country still remains one of the smallest indepent nations in Asia.
About a quarter of the population is resident in Male’ the capital. Outside Male’ the largest population are in Hithadhoo in Addu Atoll, Fuamulah and Kulhudhufushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll with 9,640, 7243 and 6,354 respectively. The rest is dispersed sparsely in the rest of the 200 inhabited islands.
Women have always had an important role in the family and community. In the early history of Maldives, it was not uncommon to have a woman as a Sultana or ruler and it has been suggested that the society was once a matriarchy.
In today’s society women hold strong positions in government and business. A large percentage of government employees are women. The male female ratio of enrolment and completion of education to secondary school standards remains equivalent. Women serve in the cabinet and the Parliament.