WNC educates Parties into Mainstreaming Gender [Archives:2007/1058/Local News]

June 11 2007

By: Rasha Jarhum
TAIZ, JUNE 9 ) The Woman National Organisation (WNC) has organized a workshop on gender mainstreaming into political parties and organisations. The workshop that was held in Taiz and hosted by Al-Saeed Institution, was attended by 25 representatives of the GPC and the Joint Meeting Parties.

The Workshop objective was to acquaint participants with integration approaches to gender issues in political parties through a set of specific components that were demonstrated through out the sessions. In addition, the participants were introduced to the definition of gender and the importance of gender indicators to the development process as well as gender planning and analysis. However, the second day of the workshop was the most vital as participants were trained to update the political parties plans to be more gender integrated and how to include gender issues as specific plans.

Hana'a Howaidi – General Director of the Planning and Development Unit in WNC, stated to the Yemen Times that the workshop aimed at introducing the concepts of women's political participation, which remains as low as 2% in high positions. She also added that women are still electoral cards due to social factors that look at women political participation as a dangerous form of insanity.

Additionally, she indicated that there are other factors that weaken the integration of gender in political participation and decision-making in political parties in particular and political participation in general such as high rates of illiteracy, which reach 70% among women, and the tyranny of political illiteracy. She also pointed out that the Qat Sessions, which are exclusive to men and where important and vital political decision are taken, are another weakening factor to women's political participation.

Therefore, she called upon Yemeni women to educate themselves politically through resettling themselves in the decision-making process. She then wondered “Why women do not receive important and sensitive positions in the political party structures?”

In her conclusion, she urged the political parties and organizations to look into the community and not the party itself when it comes to course of the planning process, emphasizing that women constitute half of society, and stressing that women will have a positive role in the parties. Howaidi then insisted that the parties should transfer women from being just a name or added membership to an influential and the decision maker.