Study Addresses Violence against Women and Political Participation in Yemen
Monday, May 7, 2007 11:10 AM

The Yemen Female Media Forum conducted a survey to monitor the legal rights of women in 18 Yemeni governorates, including 533 women who have had their rights violated. The survey was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy.  The study found that of women who are victims of violence, 87% are abused at the hands of family members. 35% of the violent acts were perpetrated by husbands and 1% are committed by the husband along with other individuals. Fathers were the perpetrators in 29% of violent acts against women, 24% of which were committed by the father alone, and almost 5% were committed by the father with others. 

The study also addressed women’s political participation in Yemen. In the previous presidential election, no woman candidate was endorsed by any political party.  “The parties always use excuses like ‘the society’s conservative culture’ and ‘the society’s negative view towards women’ to avoid supporting their female candidates in the elections,” according to the study. The authors opined that this “shows that the parties are more concerned with maintaining the status quo and their control over individual districts, than to advancing the status of women by presenting them as strong candidates.” The authors advocate “creating a mechanism to protect and support women candidates, provide urgent legal assistance and organize media solidarity campaigns to combat any and all violations against women candidates through a national hotline and the creation of specialized offices to offer support…[as well as] benefiting from foreign support for women and applying pressure for electoral system reforms.”     

Compiled from: Kawkab al-Thaibani, Study Reveals Rights Violations Against Women, Yemen Observer May 1, 2007.