Inauguration of strategy of advocacy of woman political participation and girl’s education [Archives:2005/860/Reportage]

July 18 2005

Hassan Al-Zaidi
In the presence of a large number of Yemeni women leaders, the Yemeni Woman Union (YWU) and the civic societies interested in women political participation and girls' education, inaugurated the strategic advocacy for the political participation of women and girls' education for 2005-2008. It is in cooperation with Care International.

In her speech Dr. Ramziah Aliriani, head, of the Yemeni Union (YWU), confirmed that the promotion of women to participate in the political and economical decision making is a must. She disclosed that a future substantial strategy has been inaugurated. She also added that an implementation mechanism to break the vicious circle of slogans to achieve a joint work mechanism that would help implementing the ideal method that will enable women to obtain at least 10% of the seats in the parliament and 20% of the local governance seats. She also spoke of a deal between parties to warrant a quota for women and frame a legal justification, to allocate constituencies for women to contest in apart from that of men.

She also called for an effort to change the traditional perspective towards women, so as to be able to participate in the social and economical development.

Dr.Rau'fa Hassan presented a summary of the aims of the strategy. It constituted the steps of how to contain the gap of educational and decision making. She insisted on the state recognition of the equal rights of women, and live up to the international accords it is signatory to.

Khadija Radman, head of the foreign relations in the general secretariat in the (PGC), highlighted the interest of the (PGC) government in the basic woman rights. This is clear through the establishment of girls' education, and the legislations that organize women rights and their role in the political life. She said that women are occupying leading positions in the (PGC). She also pointed out that the (PGC) is adopting a certain allocation of posts in all of the state's establishments, be it legislative, executive, judicial or diplomatic. The (PGC) is observing measures in their political agenda that guarantee the advancement of women. It also observes handling the traditions that hold back her natural rights.

Mohamed Qahtan, head of the political secretariat in Islah party, said “Islah backs the women demands. Both man and woman suffer and the earnest political participation is a real defiance for all of us. We feel that we face an immense commitment to overstep our retardation. In our party, we push towards raising the awareness of women as voters. We are also preparing a draft to present it to the higher committee demanding that two women should join the supervision committee. We also demand that women should be members in the higher election committee. The ruling party should cater for wider chances of representation for women in the Consultancy council. Our party suggests 20-40 seats.

We should not overbid in the women's demands, because theirs are our demands. The male and female together make mankind.

Shafiqa Murshid, head of women sector in the Socialist party said, “Our party is conducting a number of functions to achieve the national strategy that is being agreed upon. I think that women's situation was better before 1994 war

Women are still secluded from the masculine community. I don't think this seclusion will help in the process of economical, social and cultural developments.

The representative of the organization of Development of Electoral Process confirmed in his speech that there are a number of issues that need strategies and plans to address them.

He said that for a woman to run the next elections, an intensive effort is needed. What happened in 2001 was not enough, in a country that boasts of being the first country in the region that observes Human Rights. The quota suggestion is not clear especially from partisan point of view. The best thing for women to participate in political life is the proportional representation.

Mr. Abdulsalam Aljaufi, Minister of education confirmed that our community problems can only be solved through increasing education rate and girls' education in particular. He added that Yemen is suffering three main problems; population, water and economy. He added that his ministry has established specialized center for girls' education.