Since the beginning of the conflict in 2014, Yemeni women have played a central role as negotiators and mediators. They’ve led the release of victims of enforced disappearances, the opening of safe humanitarian corridors, and the fight against child recruitment. Yet, Yemeni women’s efforts have not been supported or appreciated by neither international nor national communities.
Today, women and girls are also subjected to physical and sexual violence, including:
- arbitrary detention,
- enforced disappearance,
- direct targeting with all kinds of weapons,
- and the systematic exclusion of participation in the public and political lives.
In December 2020 a new government was formed, and it didn’t have women ministers.
Still, everyone welcomed this step. No actor has condemned that this formation of a government without women ministers. Not even countries with supposedly Feminist Foreign Policies that were involved in Yemen’s peace process have criticized it. It is alarming to see that the promises to support Yemeni women are not reflected in actions when needed.
Starting from the 9th of March 2021, Yemeni women have started campaigning to regain their lost rights. Through the “Year For Women Campaign” we are demanding a tangible improvement from the government and the international community. It is everyone’s responsibility to support this movement, as Yemeni women have endured a lot because of the war.
It is time to change the situation and support Yemeni women to regain their rights.
Unfortunately, all of the deterioration happening was due to national patriarchy entertained by international patriarchy. Therefore, everyone must stand and take a step to create the change.
Creating the desired change Yemeni women need requires some difficult steps forward. This is especially the case with the prolonged and the increased militarized presence. However, a few immediate steps can be taken to help improve the situation a little bit.
1. There is a serious need to allocate more funds to protection programs for Yemeni women.
This should include including peacebuilders and human rights defenders, and the programs should be long-term, comprehensive, and sustainable.
2. Women-led and feminist organizations should have access to sufficient and core funding.
3. We all should remember that women make up more than half of society.
In a country going through war, they are the group that is bearing most burdens of the conflict. Therefore, national, regional, and international stakeholders are obligated to work hand in hand with local Yemeni CSOs to enhance the status of women’s rights in Yemen.