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Rehendhi is an underground feminist movement, led mostly by women, that fights against rising fundamentalism and the associated erosion of already scarce liberal attitudes towards women in our society. We reject overarching and untrue labels such as ‘Americanized’ or ‘Westernized.” We look at our own society and deduce that the suffering of women is directly linked to the strong patriarchal system that breeds harmful prejudices against women, such as their inferiority and servitude to men.

What do we do? We will respond to verbal, physical, psychological and other forms of attack against women that undermine women’s place and role in society. However, we work within a religious context as we are a Muslim community and we are practicing Muslims. Our goal is not to negate Quran, Hadith or Islamic principles, but to find women’s rightful place in society in which they can flourish and realize their true potential. We emphasize the fact that many feminists are Muslim Women. Working for women’s rights does not mean that one is not a pious and good Muslim.

Why are we doing this? It is already too late. Our objective is for women to fight and overcome the restraints placed on them by societal prejudices and norms. Sometimes, due to upbringing, formal education and mainstream predominant societal views, women themselves internalize such unfounded and unjustified views of inequality and ‘inherent inferiority’ of women compared to men. We refuse to tolerate any discrimination against women based on Islam and diffuse concepts such as ‘culture.’

How are we doing it? We are an underground feminist movement because at the end of the day we live in a society where the majority is not ready to accept equality between the sexes. We also live in a society that is increasingly adhering to stricter interpretations of the Islamic faith that snubs the notion of equality. We are up against ‘militant Muslims’ who will not hesitate to quell dissenting voices at any cost. They will not hesitate to use violence. More importantly, we want to remain anonymous because we want to be criticized for the issues we take rather than the length of our hijabs. Therefore, our work right now is taking public stances, through Rehendhi, on issues and incidents involving women. We do this in order to show solidarity and to let women know that we can get organized and work together. We will also focus on strengthening ourselves so that we can begin to work on ridding society of prejudices against women through education, awareness raising, increasing opportunities for higher education for young women, advocating for equal consideration and pay for women and other similar groups.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2010 8:33 am

    i am a maldivian who sympathaise for your cause. what can i do to help?

  2. Anna permalink
    March 3, 2011 7:03 am

    I am a London based feminist and am reading your blog with great interest. It’s so great to know there is some active feminism in the Maldives! I am coming to the Maldives on holiday this year and am learning about the culture before I come as I think that is important. One of the things I am most interested in is women’s place in Maldivian society and I have learnt a lot from your blog. Do you have anything planned for International Women’s Day this year? Or any other feminist activism planned for March? If so I’d love to get involved. And also can you recommend any Maldivian women authors/novelists, especially feminist ones?
    What you’re doing is amazing.
    Thank you!

  3. Feizal Samath permalink
    May 3, 2011 7:45 am

    Hi, this is not a comment but a request. I am a Sri Lankan journalist who has been covering the Maldives for many years from Colombo for Sri Lankan and international media. I will be in Male May 7 to 12 (coming Saturday. Could I meet up with some of our members to do a story on feminine rights and issues? tks

    Feizal Samath
    +94 777728590 (in Colombo)


  1. Welcome to Rehendhi « Rehendhi

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