The importance of women’s political participation in various decision-making levels lies in providing them the opportunity to effectively participate in plans, programs, and policy development and implementation that will benefit not only women, but society in general.
Since ancient times, Yemeni women have been part of political life and have had a distinct role. This historical legacy makes Yemen one of the few countries where women have gained balanced roles in public life in political history and have enjoyed confidence, respect, and acceptance in running and handling the affairs of governance.
In a the final workshop for the project to support women’s rights in the New Constitution under the slogan “Women Are the Pillar of Development” by volunteers for the Rights of Women Alliance, Dr. Hassnia al-Ghamiri, Professor at the Gender and Development Center, said that women are half the community, and their presence in this period is very important because all the problems in the country are made by men so it is up to women to prove that they can make progress in society.
“Yemen is living a very fragile and scary situation but we still have hope and this time Yemen needs the intellectual and political consensus of the political elites because stubbornness will not solve the problem,” said al-Ghamiri.
Dr. Bilqis Abu Osba’a, Professor of Political Science, said that the existence of a strong women’s movement is the real step for real social peace.
She confirmed that there is a real will in all women to dream of the future and build a modern civil state and women and domestic issues must be at the forefront of this field.
Abu Osba’a appealed the interlocutors’ political forces to depend on reason and put the national interest above all other considerations and that everyone is supportive of this country to bring it up to safety.
She pointed out the ability of women to carry out their role in the national various fields, especially because they have been part of the history of Yemen’s struggle since the September revolution until today.
Chairperson of the Yemeni Women’s Union Fathiye Abdullah said that women have to support women’s issues and fight against bad social habits that perpetuate violence against women, especially in this period.
“Solidarity among all segments of society is very important in order to promote the rights of women in various fields. We should advocate women in the next constitution and build a modern civil state that meets the aspirations of all Yemenis.”
Ahlam Salam said that a woman is a dove of peace and a man is nervous by nature so women must put forward their their views. “All women have to work to bring views together according to their position and represent the country not a specific party and put partisanship away and work for the home only.”
Amal al-Makhathi, Executive Director of the Yemeni Center for Human Rights, said that parties have circumvented the rights of women in all stages of the transition. Parties differ in everything, but against women’s rights they all agree. “I expect that even in the coming stage, Ansar Allah will not allow women to participate in the national council with 30%. There must be a strong movement by women. They should stop being silent and staying at home in order to be partners.”
With the passing of time, Arab societies have become governed by strict customs and traditions. Some of these customs suggest that Arab culture is guided more by male preference than religious instruction. Now, however, the concept of women’s rights is becoming more common.
History shows that women have played major roles in Yemeni society. The Queen of Sheba, for example, is a source of pride for the Yemeni nation. In addition, Yemen’s Queen Arwa has been noted for her attention to infrastructure, which contributed to a documented time of prosperity under her rule. Modern day women of Yemen, however, are subjected to a society that reflects largely agrarian, tribal, and patriarchal traditions. This trend, combined with illiteracy and economic issues have caused women to be continuously deprived of their rights as citizens of Yemen.
It cannot be denied that woman have broken into a range of different professions at all levels. Many of the fields in which women now work were originally exclusive to men, but women have since began exploring work opportunities outside of the home, finding ways to contribute in both political and economic activity to build Yemen.