FACTBOX -Yemeni women face 'long haul' in battle for rights

by Maria Caspani | www.twitter.com/MariaCaspani85 | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 9 November 2012 17:15 GMT

Some facts and figures on women's political participation in Yemen

LONDON (TrustLaw) –Nearly a year after a popular uprising forced the resignation of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and ended his 33-year rule, women in the country remain treated as second-class citizens.

It will be a “long haul” for women in the country, said Letta Tayler, senior Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch.

In a society where men and women are discouraged from mingling, many women found themselves beaten or harassed during protests against the Saleh regime.

Tayler said one of the many positive outcomes of the uprising is women are speaking out. They are seeking participation in political institutions, and in the upcoming National Dialogue Conference. The conference is intended to guide the drafting of a new constitution and to guide Yemen's expected transition to free elections in 2014.

Here some facts and figures on women’s political participation in the country.

  • There is one woman in the 301-member parliament
  • The current government includes three female members, including minister of human rights and minister of social affairs and labour
  • Out of the 31 members of the technical committee that is preparing the National Dialogue Conference, only six are women
  • The percentage of women participating in the National Dialogue Conference has not yet been agreed, but it has been agreed that women should participate in every group in the conference
  • Among leaders in the 2011 protests was Tawakkol Karman, a woman who that year won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to promote women’s rights and fight human rights abuses

Source: Technical committee for Yemen's National Dialogue Conference

This factbox is part of a Thomson Reuters Foundation multimedia package on the women of the Arab Spring

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