Sana’a, YEMEN (December 9, 2013) – The Yemen Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, in collaboration with Karama and the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality, held a national seminar focusing on women, peace, and security on December 1st – 2nd. Over thirty-two Yemeni human rights activists, experts and leaders participated in the seminar, which culminated with the launch of the Yemen Network on Women, Peace, and Security.
Opening the two-day seminar, Ali Al-Dailami, Director of the Yemen Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, stressed the importance of women’s role in building peace and security in light of current situation in Yemen, particularly with regard to conflict zones and the lack of protection for citizens from violence and other threats. Among his recommendations to address these issues, Mr. Dailami emphasized the need for Yemen’s leadership to adopt a quota of thirty percent for women in all decision-making bodies and entities, including high-level roles. He also called upon UN Women to identify effective strategies to pressure international governments to honor their commitments and ensure women’s inclusion in both the political and economic spheres.
Ghada Al-Saqqaf, Director of Civil Society for the Ministry of Human Rights, stressed the importance of developing partnership between civil society organizations and the ministry, emphasizing the need for both civil society and the ministry to strengthen the role of women, particularly in the transitional phase Yemen is currently experiencing.
The participation of Yemini women and increased awareness of their rights and current conditions is essential in achieving women’s rights for the future, Dr. Ashgan Farag, Director of Programs for Karama, shared. She also emphasized the importance of UN resolutions and the need for targeting a diverse group of women, not just women working in civil society.
In the final session, the Yemen Network on Women, Peace and Security launched. The network’s initial two priorities are: to build awareness regarding the international resolutions that are aimed to protect and enhance women’s roles in society; and to increase women’s political participation and representation.