This case in the Maldives is example of how international pressure can work to effect social change towards gender equality in highly traditional theocracies, and that there is definitely desire for change amongst the population.
The challenge is to apply sufficient and appropriate pressure, particularly effective where there is a broad economic impact such as on tourism.
“A survey by Avaaz found that 92 per cent of Maldivians want a reform of national laws to protect women from sexual assault, while 73 per cent are opposed to punishments for women for “sexual crimes”. One in three women between the ages of 15 and 49 has suffered either physical or sexual abuse over the past five years. Nine out of 10 sentences for flogging in the Maldives in 2011 were given to women, while no one has been convicted of rape in the past three years.”