Telecommunication centers are a new career of Yemeni women [Archives:2007/1014/Reportage]

January 8 2007

Shaker A. Alhitri
For Yemen Times

They work in the daylight in some cities, such as Aden and Al-Hodiadah and their work continues until the beginning of the night. Women's work in the telecommunications shops regards a new phenomenon in the reserved Yemeni society. It was almost with a political background, as it has been raised along with the economic difficulties that have influenced the Yemen's economy after the return of about one million immigrants and their families from Gulf States after the second Gulf War.

The beginning of women's work in the telecommunication business is not interesting to public who still refuse women's work, to some extent, and how they will encounter women in shops or drive a taxi?

There are other reasons imposed on the nature of this work that include the impact of worldwide women's movements in the women integration into the development plans in the developing countries, particularly the Arab countries. The unity of the two parts of Yemen (North and south) in turn influences positively the social values. It has been known for the political and social regime in the South part of Yemen encourages women to work in various sectors. However, the women's work in the field of telecommunications is new and subjected to the Yemen traditions. Arwa (19 years), who works in a shop of one of her relatives in the capital Sanaa, said that she works form 8 am until 3 pm and she denied being harassed by costumers, while Soad 22 years old said that some customers, especially adolescents, are trying to swap out the nature of the work.

The work of women in telecommunication centers acquires the enthusiasm of the owners of these shops, as their interest in this service helps to attract a larger number of customers. Other shops benefit from the employment of women to manipulate the prices of telephone units, although the Yemen traditions do not allow men to argue or bargain with women.

Specialists believe that the joining of women to fields of work directly with the public, such as call centers, would help developing the community vision towards the women's work. It seems that such a field could embody a large number of unqualified female. Although that Arwa did not receive any education, she has not encountered any problems in her work, and this indicates that she uses computer without any difficulties. The magnitude of the phenomenon of women's work in the field of telecommunication differs according to the nature of the Yemeni city.

The number of working women in the field of telecommunication in Sana'a still limited but they are more prevalent in Aden, which is the first of its kind on the emergence of public relations, and also it is the first city that encourages the women to work. Yousri Mohammed (Training Specialist) sees no shortcoming in the work of women in the commercial shops, but he did not agree with their working at the Internet cafes. He regards their work in telecommunication centers, even in the military institutions, better than the Internet cafes, because of the possibility of pornographic materials in such places.