Minister of Defence
Uza. Mariya Didi
Mariya Didi is the incumbent Minister of Defence of the Republic of Maldives, a former Member of Parliament and a leading human rights activist.
She was sworn in as the Minister of Defence on 17th November 2018 by His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. She holds the distinction of being the first female in the history of Maldives to be appointed Minister of Defence.
Mariya Didi has a Bachelor’s degree in Law (LLB) (Hons) and a Master’s degree in Law (LLB) (Hons) from the University of Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom. She completed her professional qualifications in England and is among the first two Barristers to be called to the Bar of England and Wales, and is a Barrister of the prestigious Gray’s Inn, England, having done her pupillage at Albion Chambers, Bristol. Mariya believes that her studies laid the foundations that in order for a country to become a nation of laws and enjoy all freedoms that come along with it, democracy and the rule of law have to be introduced, nurtured and allowed to flourish.
A woman of many superlatives, Mariya Didi is also the first female lawyer of the Maldives. She is one of the few female members of parliament the world over, who has succeeded in sitting in Parliament for 4 Consecutive terms. As an elected Member of Parliament, Mariya Didi sat in the Drafting Committee of the 2008 Constitution. In 2007, she was awarded the International Women of Courage Award by the US Secretary of State in recognition of her contribution to democracy and human rights in the Maldives.
Mariya Didi is the first and the only woman so far to be elected as Chairperson of a major political party in the Maldives. She was elected as Chairperson of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the largest political party in the Maldives. It was under her chairmanship that the party won the first ever multiparty democratic presidential elections held in the Maldives in 2008.
Mariya Didi is married to Mr. Mohamed Amir. She is blessed with one daughter and two sons.
To lead the accomplishment and realization of the Vision and Mission of the Ministry of Defence, and to supervise the institutions and agencies assigned to the Minister’s mandate, in furtherance of the policies and goals of the Government.