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Country Profile on Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services: Maldives

This country study looks at the state of universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Maldives, a country that consists of 1190 coral islands, 16% of which are inhabited. On paper, the country’s health policy and attitude towards (SRH) seem excellent; Maldives established a universal health insurance scheme (“Aasandha”) in January 2012, which was revised again during the current presidency (“Husnuvaa Asandha”), and it has signed 7 out of the 9 major International Conventions and 5 Optional Protocols related to the provision of human rights, including Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). However Maldives did have reservations on these laws, especially those that conflict with Sharia Law; in this context, understanding the interplay of Sharia Law and its influence on SRH services in Maldives is vital. To measure the extent of universal access to SRH services in the country, 15 of 17 indicators developed for ARROW were used, and the study also contains recommendations for both governmental bodies and for NGOs.