Absent from the Negotiation Table and Shunned from Public Life: Yemeni Women at a Crossroads
4 September 2023
The expectations placed on them by society are immense. External influences have also played a role in the marginalization of Yemeni women, including the interference of regional powers in Yemen and the mirroring of their oppressive policies; the weak role of the international community, led by the UN, in supporting women; and that of Yemeni female leaders themselves, who have struggled, in the. [...] A policy of tahrir al-mar›a (women’s emancipation) in the 1960s came as a result of the policies of the National Liberation Front, which took over when the British left Aden and called for the eradication of patriarchal frameworks, for women to be educated, and to join the labor market. The north of Yemen, meanwhile, had a more conservative social, economic, and political system. [...] Women were at the forefront of this, defending freedom of speech and fighting for basic human rights, the most prominent battle being Yemeni women’s call to set a minimum age for marriage. Marking a new relationship with street protests and the public sphere, in 2011, with the advent of the Arab Spring, women broke the submissive stereotype of meek and voiceless beings belonging to the home by. [...] In the aftermath of the Stockholm Agreement in 2018, however, the OSESGY’s approach changed, and members of the group were relegated to providing input primarily on ‘gender issues,’ creating tensions between members of TAG and OSESGY›s staff. Misuse of resources and the UN’s lack of vision and strategy are the second shortcomings cited by interviewees. [...] The OSESGY has the clout to pressure the parties to include women in their delegations, as seen during the NDC, led by the efforts of Jamal Bin Omar, and in other cases when UN envoys stepped up their demands for the inclusion of women. But for the most part, UN envoys chose the easy path: postponing women›s participation to prioritize demands made by parties to the conflict at the negotia.