perceptions of islam and srhr in the maldives


This study sought to explore how prevalent beliefs and perceptions about Islamic principles affect SRHR in the Maldives by studying the following research question: What is the reason behind varying perceptions regarding Islam’s stance on family planning and SRHR? By interviewing leading religious scholars who actively and regularly engage with the public through public lectures/sermons, media, and teaching, this study explored whether differing beliefs held by religious scholars may be the reason behind the wide variation in public perception regarding Islam and family planning and SRHR. The findings and analyses indicate that such a clear attribution is unwarranted, and reveals three contributing factors. It seems that the reasons behind such varied public perceptions about Islam and SRHR may be a combination of religious scholars’ personal beliefs clouding their religious advice, a result of literal and incomplete interpretation of Islamic texts, and pervasive misinformation provided by some groups that may not be in line with Islamic principles. Based on the findings, this report concludes by recommending approaches to counter the varied (and often inaccurate) perceptions held by Maldivians regarding Islam and SRHR.

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Society for Health Education (SHE)