Empowering Maldives Women in Woodworking & Furniture Carpentry
The Maldives Institute of Technology's Journey on Empowering Women
Mariyam Hudhna Shareef
MIT’s Woodworking & Furniture Carpentry course was introduced and delivered under the Women’s Skills Training Program (WST). It was launched in 2019 to empower women with skills and to stimulate them to take occupations that had been neglected by women for ages.
Like other technical jobs across the Maldives, Woodworking & Furniture Carpentry jobs are male-dominated and hardly any woman is actively engaged in the field. However, with the opening of the program at the Maldives Institute of Technology, a group of women registered and the program started with 15 women (the maximum capacity of MIT training workshop).
As the program progressed, everyone within the MIT Team was surprised to see the enthusiasm and passion women put in the Woodworking & Furniture Carpentry works.
As part of the program, the women crafted several furniture, took pictures of their work and circulated these across social media. Immediately, it became viral across the Maldives.
This created interest in the program which increased the number of registrants for the second batch of the program. There was such an increase in enrolment that MIT had to split the second batch into two groups and the program continued successfully.
Our findings among the participants showed that women may perform better if not equal to men in woodworking and furniture making.
This journey of empowering women through woodworking and furniture skills is a strong validation that though the skills gaps are bigger at present, women can perform equally or better in many occupations.
Furniture Made by MIT Women
MIT is committed to further increase the participation of women across the Maldivian workforce as, at present, women participation is 37% less than men.
MIT will continue to widen our offering of skills training programs to women to enhance and increase the participation of women in various economic activities and truly empower them to be independent and self-sustaining.
MALDIVES INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
M.Gaus, Gandhakoalhi Magu, Male', Republic of Maldives
Tel: +960 3308644
Founder: Adam Haleem