May 02, 2024
Gender Equality in Yemen

Gender Equality in Yemen - Dr. Hoda Ali Alawi


Yemen is facing multiple challenges including conflict, displacement and economic instability. This negative environment has had a direct impact on women and girls, limiting their ability to access services and livelihoods, and to obtain equal opportunities with men.


Yemen is facing one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, there are 21.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2023, while 80% of the population lack food, safe drinking water and adequate health services. These repercussions result from a number of overlapping emergency crises hitting the country, such as the violent conflict, the economic collapse, the recurring natural disasters, the sharp deterioration in livelihood level and the spread of violence against women. 



We shall note that girls and women are among the most affected category by the consequences of war, almost 80% out of 4.5 million displaced people in Yemen are women and children. Families supported by women currently represent 26% of the total displaced families. Political conditions and social behaviors discriminating women are deeply established, which aggravates inequality indicators and hinders women’s access to basic services.


Although, Yemeni women play an influential role in public life, yet it has not been translated into an adequate representation that meets their real potentials. The political practice in Yemen reflects a fragile reality towards women participation, and the discouraging conditions hinder their access to spheres of power and decision making. This remained restrained by the reality problems and the complexities of the post-war scene that increased women suffering and exclusion, when the feminist movement lost the advantages they achieved in the last years, at the conflict eruption.


We shall mention that the deteriorating situation of women in Yemen has become strongly present in International reports, recording chocking results that do not preserve the minimum of their rights. It was ranked (155) in the Gender Gap Index in 2021, compared to (115) in 2015, that is still going on until this date, in reference to a big disparity in the implementation of equal rights among men and women.



The Mahram (male guardian) requirement has been largely imposed on women, including legal humanitarian activists, which bans women from traveling without a family member “male” companion who is legally authorized. Access to basic services and the freedom of movement, has also become a greater challenge for girls and women requiring a Mahram and legal identification documents, due to lack of security measures and discriminatory laws. 


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