Liberating Yemeni woman economically, an Arab model [Archives:2004/723/Business & Economy]

March 25 2004

By Abdullah Ali AL-Dahy
For the Yemen Times

Introduction: During the past one thousand years of Arabic history, the most apparent feature is the drop of the material and creative productivity level for the Arab community. All efforts for change did not adopt normal a development course to expand the capitalist base of society at large. This requires changes in relations. And it will not happen except in a way similar to that, which took place following the industrial revolution in Europe. The historical absence of woman plays a pivotal role in the backwardness and drop of productivity level. Freeing Arab women in general and Yemeni woman in particular will not happen except with the financial and economic emancipation of woman and with her direct effective practical participation in production. History has shown that changes always come from the rural areas. The base of Arab society is living in semi-desert and rural areas and not in the city. Anyhow, the project “Liberating Yemeni Woman Economically: an Arab Model” is the result of preliminary reading and thinking of the mentality of Arabs in general and Yemenis in particular, through selecting the most conservative regions in terms of social traditions and norms.

Rural woman, the core of liberation:
The woman if empowered could make intrinsic changes in to the Arab freedom issue in general and increasing the level of production in particular, considering the family structure of society. The rural woman, through economic liberation, in great numbers and influential in the social formation, would contribute to resolving the everlasting problem facing woman which lies in the marketing operation.

The practical side in the mission:
The main mission is merging the rural woman in the production operation in many numbers and then circulating the model within broad frames, which requires several phases:

The first phase:
1- Announcement of the authority conducting the mission of economic liberation of woman in the place of experiment.
2- Finding the model, the woman who could work and earn and the contact through women mediation in the region.
3- The model could be chosen from the outside region in the first phase, working contracts to be made between the woman model and women in the region.
4- The cooperation between the woman model and women in the region to establish projects of benefit to the woman in agriculture. The woman model involved in the marketing of these goods will get financial benefits.
5- The woman model, according to signed contracts, would give sums of money to women in order to buy sheep or cultivate land, drilling for water and buying water pumps.

The Second Phase:
Time is determined on the success of first phase. It includes:
1- Establishing direct relations between the woman model and women in the region. The direction is to shift the woman model from the specific region to greater contacts with the main model woman.
2- The models work to bring their products to the market through the main model in the administrative center.
3- At this phase, the beginning of expanding the scope of activities to include other regions.
4- At the same time starting industrial-related work.

The Third Phase:
1- After increasing various production operations, a market for women in the region to be constructed.
2- The women can directly sell their products and buy their needs from private shops or otherwise.
3- This market will encourage the women to increase production and will break the hesitation to deal with this market. It will become customary.
4- Men would not mind their women going to the market with or without them to get what they need.

The project will produce:
1- Increased production of the society in general and woman's production in particular and thus creating unprecedented family cooperation.
2- Opening new horizons before local societies for production and building new relations which does not limit work and production.
3- Make the society work to its maximum productive and creative power. The economic operation flourishes and family incomes rise.
4- The woman with effective participation would get an economic reward, which helps its capabilities and position firstly inside the family and secondly in society.
5- According to a new basis which will fade out gradually, old traditions considered as shameful or inviolable will be eliminated.
6- The productive family will seek to be free from obstacles which hinder its movement and the need to found a big city will emerge.
7- The productive family will head towards uniting and establishing companies and corporations and the capital will be used for investment.
8- With the closeness of scattered houses, the possibility of enhancing modern services and new relations will be created instead of the limited relations and limited inhabitants.
9- Since the woman is a major factor in the prosperity operation, the woman's freedom to work, own and travel will prosper.
10- In economic activities, and the role of woman as a main component of them, many deep changes will take place in the life of a society and its relations.
Conclusion: It is important not to ignore the reactions of some stream, which may call for banning some of the points in this project. Thus, it is important to reach the moderates. It is also important to account for the responsibility of the local councils, the ethics of religion.