Hon. Zenysha Shaheed Zaki, was appointed as the Minister of Gender and Family on 22 June 2016 at the age of 31, as the country’s youngest female Cabinet Minister.
She graduated from the University of Otago in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Studies in 2006, and a Masters of International Studies in 2008, in a multidisciplinary programme of International Law, History, Political Studies and Economics.
Hon. Zenysha Shaheed Zaki began her career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives in 2008 and served as the head of various divisions of the Foreign Relations Department. During her career in the Maldivian Foreign Service for over 7 years, she was part of the official delegations for the 18th SAARC Summit in 2014, and the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, among others.
During this time, in her personal capacity, Hon. Zenysha Shaheed Zaki founded Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC), a non-profit, non-governmental organization working for the promotion and protection of the rights and wellbeing of children in the Maldives. She served as the Executive Director of ARC since its establishment in 2009, till her resignation in 2016 upon taking up her Cabinet portfolio.
In 2015, the President of the Maldives presented Hon Zenysha Shaheed Zaki with a National Award for her contributions towards the advancement of human rights in the Maldives, and for raising public awareness in the area of human rights. She was also was presented with the National Youth Award in 2012, for her contributions towards the rights and wellbeing of children in the Maldives.