Girl Guides expressing their thoughts on Women’s Day:”We want equality!” [Archives:2005/824/Community]

March 14 2005

By Nadia al-Sakkaf
Yemen Times Editor-in-Chief

During the Women's National Committee's conference, to celebrate last week's International Women's Day, a group of 16 Brownies and Girl Guides from Salah al-Din al-Aiobi and 14th October schools attended the inauguration.

Singing songs to open the conference, they seemed very excited to be part of this celebration. To explore the extent of their awareness regarding all that is happening in this event we had a chat with a few of them

What is today? What is this function all about?

(All together): Women's Day!

So what is Women's Day?

(Buthaina Badr al-Najjar- Salah al-Din School): It's the day in which women demand their rights and to have an equal say in the society to the man and to participate in development.

Very impressive! And do you know who is conducting this celebration today?

(One girl): The president!

(Another girl): No! It can't be the president because he didn't come today!

(The first girl): It's the government!

Who in the government?

(The same girl): The women's rrr

(Another girl): The women's ministry!

(A third girl): No no ..not the women's ministry it's an non governmental association

(A fourth girl): It's a women called Halima!

None of that it's the Women's National Committee, a governmental organization, and the woman you are referring to is the deputy chairwoman of the WNC called Hooria not Halima

So tell me what importance does such event have to you?

(Sahar al-Mahjari- Salah al-Din School): We want to emphasize through this event that women are half of the society and it is she who builds countries and raises men. So she must be appreciated.

How do you feel about today?

(Bahja al-Omais – 14th Oct School): We feel happiness and glory because we know that they care for women and women's issues. And our role is to encourage other girls in participating in such events.

(Another girls from 14th Oct School) And we want to extend our thanks to the people who organized this event and invited us here!

Do you think there is discrimination against women in Yemen?

(Khadija Ahmed – Salah al-Din School): Yes, definitely, they favor boys to girls, they have more rights.

(Yasmen Zakariya- Salah al-Din School): They force us out of school to marry, some of my classmates dropped out of school. Girls should marry only if they are older than 23 years old.

(Sahar al-Mahjari- Salah al-Din School) They even don't take their approval before getting them married off. They deprive her from education. There is oppression against women they make her work at home and sometimes outside, and nobody appreciates her efforts.

What do you hope from the future? When what happens would you say that women have gained their rights in Yemen?

(Nadia al-Hafashi- salah al-Din School):When they have freedom of choice, when they are educated as much as they want.

(Khadja Ahmed): When they can work easily without hesitation.

(A girl from 14th October School): When there is political participation and there is a women in decision making position in every ministry.