Yemeni women have a long way to go [Archives:2002/41/Local News]

October 7 2002

There remains a long way to go to improve the rights of Arab women, according to experts holding a symposium on the issue recently.
In conjunction with Oxfam-British organization, the Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights (SAF), held the symposium titled “Women Rights and the Need to a judicial Amendment.”
Among the speakers was Jordanian lawyer Ms. Asma Khadir, the Director of National Institute for Women Cooperation and the Sudanese expert in human rights, Mr. Ahmed al-Obaid.
Eliminating discriminatory laws against women in the Yemen was part of the discussion.
Khadir indicated that women in the Arab world are still kept from certain studies. ” We have to ask, why have we been taught all the subjects except law?” she inquired.
“Women around the world have been exposed to discrimination as they have lived under masculine societies wanting to control, and possess them. That’s why feminist movements have emerged, she said.
Khadir added that all Arab laws should make clear the equality between men and women.
She pointed out that the problem is not in the laws as much as it is in the culture itself, representing social conventions and traditions.
“Women’s issues are society’s issues, as she is the half of the society. We have to invest in women, she said. “We have to realize what our rights are and we should not give up or submit.”
Rajeh Honish and Sultan Hizam, members of parliament, Frances Gay, British ambassador, Mohammed Gafar Kasem, the Deputy of Justice Ministry, Kasem al-Falahee, of the defense ministry and a host of human rights activists and lawyers from different governorates attended the symposium.