Women’s National Committee plan for women’s development approved [Archives:2008/1138/Front Page]

March 17 2008

Rasha Jarhum
For Yemen Times

SANAA, March 15 ) The Higher Council for Women, a governmental organization led by Prime Minister Ali Mujawar, approved the Women National Committee's (WNC) plan for 2008 during their conference held on March 8-10.

The WNC was formed in 1996 as the main mechanism to institute pro-woman policies in the Yemeni government. This year, the WNC's plan is to incorporate gender issues into Yemen's development plans.

The WNC suggested establishing more laws that protect women's rights, altering stereotypes of women through use of the media and building the capacity for female involvement in education and employment.

On the first day of their conference, the WNC launched the National Safe Motherhood Alliance, which is a network of government ministries, NGOs and international donors partnering to reduce the mortality of mothers and newborns. The WNC is responsible for overseeing and monitoring the program, under the supervision of qualified medical professionals.

The conference attendees also heard presentations on new reports, such as the Gender Audit Report, a survey of six ministries and governmental bodies that enumerates the number of women involved in their various projects.

Other topics of interest included the Women and the Priorities of the Investment Program, part of the wide-ranging reforms of the Governmental Investment Plan, which tries to increase investment in women's businesses, a report discussing the importance of including financial allocations for more women in the government, and budgeting for more money towards women's projects.

There were also reports on women and cancer, female education in rural areas, and a draft of the Woman's Status Report 2007, which surveys progress made in women's issues in Yemen.

The WNC gave recommendations for new projects that draw attention to the importance of recording gender-specific data to specify problems in different areas like literacy and employment, among others.

Additionally, the WNC urged the government to participate in the preparation of different projects that will focus on gender issues, specifically urging the nation's Governmental Investment Program to be more responsive to female needs.

The WNC called on civil society organizations to consider gender issues in their projects, in accordance with Yemen's fifth plan for Development and Poverty Reduction, 2006 to 2010, which will create an institutional partnership between the government and NGOs.

“We value his Excellency's initiative to reserve 15 percent of the parliamentary seats for women