By: Asma Al-Mohattwari
One day as I rode the bus to the university, I heard two men talking about something which they clearly didn’t understand. All of a sudden, one of them was shouting, “Where are the men’s rights…we should demand our rights!” I really was surprised by the mention of “men rights”. It was new for me – what we generally hear about is women’s rights.
As I understand it, men’s problems are job-related. Wherever he goes to apply for a job, he finds that it is women who are being sought.
I forgot about the outburst on the bus and went on with my day as usual – yet in my free time, when I was alone, a question came to my mind: what place, what level do Yemeni women want to reach?
What are women’s rights really? What do they demand?
It is their demand to fill a 30% quota for political positions and for women to be in decision-making positions. What a nice thing: women want to be equal with men in everything, all the while forgetting all about the fact that men and women are different in nature.
A question to be asked: can the sun be the moon? Or can one be dispensed with and replaced by the other?
Of course not. But it’s still possible to achieve full equality between men and women if the physical differences between men and women are canceled; also, if their tasks were the same and they both could give birth to children.
Otherwise, it will not be ‘full equality’. It will only be injustice thrust upon one of the parties, and I cannot say I’m being prejudiced if I said that the aggrieved party will mostly be women – even if it does seem like ‘victory’ at first glance!!
Stop saying women’s rights. You are now a minister; you are in the parliament; your chances of finding a job are better than those of most men. What more do you want?
Don’t be selfish, educated women. Think for a while about Yemeni women and their rights.
Please, before thinking about reaching a leadership position, think about the basic things women in Yemen need. Think of their education, think of how to get rid of early marriage.
What women are suffering from is not being unable to receive their rights. Rather, it’s about an absence of respect.