Parties ignore women’s rights: Will it lead them to establish their own political party? [Archives:2009/1227/Opinion]

January 22 2009

By: Najeeb Ghallab
Regardless of their affiliation, Yemeni parties continue to act within a traditional social and cultural context when it comes to dealing with women. This context is hostile to women's rights and their humanitarian role in the construction and progress of society. Despite some of these promoting ideas of modernization, they ignore women's rights and contribute to perpetuating a traditional environment which focuses on the negative role of women.

Women are still subjected to traditional norms, and their resistance is restricted by shyness and fear. Laws that relate to women, for example, obey the Salafi traditional vision, but the women's movement has not yet shown any serious or organized objection to them.

This painful reality does not mean that all political activities relating to women are dark. Some women's power has shown signs of light in civil society. These women are backed by active cultural and political figures that deal widely with women issues. The problem is that most people concerned with women's issues are overpowered by political concerns, often employing women's issues in the context of the political conflicts but forgetting the miserable reality of women.

In following political and social activities, one can find that the political speeches of most political currents tactically deal with different women's issues. In public, the speech takes on a liberal democratic note as it rejects political tyranny and dictatorship against women. It calls for freedom, equality, human rights and the end of oppression against women.

Still, this political speech moves within a traditionally-restricted social field “ideologized”” under the pretext of religion. The political fundamentalists in Yemen