Women’s Union First Annual Meeting [Archives:1998/13/Reportage]

March 30 1998

Ahlam Al-Mutawakil,
Yemen Times
The first annual meeting of the senior members of the Yemen Women’s Union was held last week in Sanaa to celebrate International Women’s Day. The theme of the meeting was, “For Activating the Pioneering Role of Yemeni Women to Develop and Consolidate their Role in Society.” The chiefs and members of the Yemen Women’s Union branches in various governorates took part in the meeting.

The meeting’s goals were;
1- Evaluating the role of the Yemen Women’s Union;
2- Suggesting a mechanism that would enable the Union to consolidate its ties with NGOs and governmental organs that work in the field of supporting women; and
3- Looking for sources of regular income for the Yemen Women’s Union.
Discussions by the participants covered the financial situation of the Union and the problems it faces. It was concluded that the major obstacle facing the Yemen Women’s Union is the absence of appropriate buildings to house the union and its branches in the governorates.

“With support by the Dutch government, offices will be built for the Union’s branch in Dhamar,” said the head of the branch, Ms. Fyza Al-Azzani. “The Dhamar branch organizes literacy classes and training courses for women.”
Ms. Saffiya Awadh, the head of the Abyan branch of the Union said, “We hope to organize training courses for women, but lack of financial resources and a decent building hinders our ambitions.”Ms. Zabeeba Al-Rayashi head of the Hodieda branch said, “Our branch aims to organize many activities such as literacy classes, training courses, health and hygiene lectures, etc. But our efforts are impeded by lack of funds, transportation, and offices owned by the branch.”
Most branches of the Yemen Women’s Union carry out the following activities:
1- Following up the cases of imprisoned women;
2- Organizing literacy classes;
3- Participating in seminars and symposiums;
4- Organizing training courses in cooperation with the UNICEF and the Communication Institute;
5- Holding exhibitions and charities for the products of the Union and its branches;
6- Taking part in local and international conferences and meetings;
7- Opening nurseries and kindergartens for the babies of working women; and many other activities.
The participants at the meeting came up with the following conclusions:
1- The Union’s Executive Bureau has been able to address the problems that result from lack of response by some official organs which are supposed to deal with women’s issues.
2- The Union suffers from lack of financial resources, which is hindering many of its activities and projects.
3- Some of offices of the Union branches are being usurped especially in Aden and Al-Mahara.
1- Financial support for the Union and its branches must be increased.
2- Coordination must be instituted with donor countries and organizations to financially support a number of small production projects to provide regular incomes for the Union and its branches.
3- Talks must be held with governmental bodies to adopt and finance some of the Union’s projects and activities.
4- Employing the services of accountants to estimate the financial needs of the Union’s proposed projects and programs.
5- Women working in the Union branches must be rewarded and encouraged to persevere with their activities.
6- The Union’s organizational and administrative conditions must be reviewed and reformed.
7- Priorities must be given to projects according to changes on the national scene.
8- Elections must be held in the Union and its branches.