Yemeni expatriate women, the privileged ones [Archives:2005/899/Business & Economy]

December 1 2005

Facts on the ground have proved that Yemeni expatriation is not confined to men but rather extended to the woman. There are large numbers of expatriate women with their husbands or sons as well as those born abroad to Yemeni parents. This situation is also applicable to non-Yemeni wives of Yemeni men.

Studies exclusively on this issue point out that the Yemeni expatriate woman is distinguished by living inside a family environment that is very strong in its cohesion that does not differ much from family pattern she was living in inside the homeland. This is also the environmental situation for girls born in expatriation places. Those girls have been brought up to be mostly described as traditional. This means it is rather the same general family atmosphere in the homeland, added to it some privileges due to benefiting from the health circumstances available there, especially in advanced countries. There are also means of comfort, residence, food and clothes and the like facilities. Expatriate mothers try to benefit from and adapt to the new society in which they are living. They seek to keep firm their family entity and benefit from some information they acquire with regard to clothes, house arrangement and food.

Researcher Fatima Mohammed Bin Mohammed, member of the Shoura council, mentions in her study on reality of Yemeni women in expatriation that the important phenomena of the expatriate Yemenis are their tendency to live as groupings within a one city and one residential quarter. This makes it easy the process of acquaintance and family closeness. Consequently this situation influences the new entity with characteristics of family environment. T is to be noted that Yemeni expatriate community entertains familiarity and acquaintance let alone that this social entity is similar to a small example of a remote homeland with regard to habits, traditions and ways of living and means of communication. The researcher also affirms that the Yemeni expatriate woman, more specifically those who have expatriated at a certain age after their being born and brought up in the homeland, are sticking more to their national and religious identity and keener on religious duties and Arab and Islamic values and moral conduct. Moreover, they convey and implant those values in their children. According to the researcher those are the basic source of the children religions education under non-existence of Arab and Islamic schools specifically in the western countries. Those mothers bear the greater burden this affair because of fathers preoccupation in their everyday businesses. Expatriate mothers give this matter a big care because of their realization that he question of religion deserves to and must be adhered by children while they are still young to be immune against the non-Arab and non-Islamic environment.

Expatriate Yemenis usually carry with them their habits and traditions wherever they go. Therefore, it is noticed that the Yemeni women, particularly the non-employed, are more attentive to performing duties inter-family relations with Yemeni and Arab families. They do not miss occasions such as weddings, national religious celebrations and performing prayers of Eids as well as family gatherings.

Concerning the economic condition of the Yemeni expatriate woman the researches has indicated that it is better than in the homeland. She attributes that to the developed economic situation in the countries of expatriation compared to Yemen. In addition, marriage is a major source for gaining money and most of those women shoulder the responsibility of housekeeping as the husbands are busy with their jobs ad businesses most of the time. The economic condition of the expatriate woman in Africa comes in the first place followed by the Gulf then in Europe and America. In Africa the expatriate Yemeni woman has greater participation as she owns capitals and projects yielding various kinds of income. The women who mostly depend on men are those expatriates living in the Gulf.

The study concluded in monitoring some a group of problems the Yemeni expatriate woman faces, mainly the bad financial and moral circumstances as a result of marital problems especially when the husband abandons her and his children mostly without family sustenance. Other problems are ignorance, illiteracy and shortage of awareness of most of expatriate women and impact of that on their way of thinking and facing psychological problems and crises due to their ignorance of the simplest ways of dealing with the new life and the new society. Among other problems is the fathers fear about their daughters to be influenced by the non-Arab society and this pushes them to give their daughters to early marriages there or sending them to the homeland to get married. This, in most cases, renders them victims of many crises and failing marriages. The other thing is that feeling of alienation may reach the degree of split in personality of many girls who have studied in the counties of expatriation due to contradiction between the reality outside the family environment and the outside. The question gets more aggravated among girls who are born to foreign mothers.