Women’s participation is necessary, Al-Arhabi says [Archives:2006/1011/Local News]

December 28 2006

SANA'A, Dec. 25 ) The involvement of women in the country's political and economic life is very important, and edging out the role of women, means cancelling the role played by half of the society that contributes to the comprehensive development. This was stated by Minister of Planning and International Development Abdulkarim Al-Arhabi in a workshop on women's development on Saturday. The workshop was conducted by the Yemeni Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation in cooperation with the UN Development Program. During the event, the participants discussed the Human Development Index in the Arab World for the year 2005.

Al-Arhabi confirmed the government's interest in women's participation in different political, social and economic areas. He said Yemen approved many international laws and legislations concerned with women rights.

Abdulkarim Al-Eryani, Political Advisor to President Saleh, stressed the necessity of improving women's participation in different political, economic and social areas. He called for eliminating any discriminations contained in some legislations that control or restrict women's participation.

According to Al-Eryani, Yemen has taken a pioneering step toward women's empowerment. He insisted that all Yemeni women have to be granted all their legal rights ensured by the law.

At the workshop, Deputy Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Yahya Al-Mutawakel discussed the content of the Human Development Index in the Arab world for 2005. Al-Mutawakel indicated the report contained several matters focusing on women development.

Many academics presented several work papers, discussing all the main themes, which were the focus of the Human Development Index in the Arab world in 2005.

The report calls for societal reform aimed at enabling the rise of women, in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), is envisioned as one of the two wings of the bird symbolising the rise of women in the Arab world. A bird, however, needs two wings to fly. The other wing would be a wide-ranging and effective movement in Arab civil society that engages both women and their male supporters in steadily extending and consolidating targeted societal reform initiatives on the one hand, and on the other, empowering women – and the society at large – to benefit from them.

In particular, the report calls for the adoption of time-bound affirmative action, tailored to the specificities of each Arab society, in order to expand the participation of women in all fields of human activity. This is considered imperative to dismantle the structures of centuries of discrimination.