[07/July/2004] An official report came out recently has asserted that Yemen ‘s policy aiming to enable woman to play a substantial role in the development process as a genuine partner has been taking its effects in all walks of life.
The national report, prepared by the national committee of woman, showed that Yemeni government has made wide strides over the past years to improve woman’s conditions and energizing her role in the development drive.
The report concentrated on woman’s situations in Yemen over ten years since the Beijing conference held in 995.It stated that in spite of the sketchy performance of Beijing scheme that had been made over the past ten years, it is a positive indicator to the earnest policy which had turned gradually woman’s participation and partnership into real practice.
According to the report , several obstacles are facing Yemeni government to make a breakthrough in the woman’s domain.
Most serious challenges are the poor resources , economical , social , cultural and political difficulties.
The report reviewed the government’s steps, prior of Beijing Conference , to ameliorate woman’s conditions in various fields.
Yemen had signed on all international laws and conventions concerning to woman’s rights.
It had signed on the agreement of ending all forms of discrimination against woman in 1984 and it signed on the pacts of woman’s political rights in 1987.
Thus, in 1993, Yemeni government set up the supreme council of woman chaired by prime minister and includes the memberships of seven deputy ministers, representatives of private sectors and six women.
The government also, has adopted a number of strategies and schemes targeted woman’s development. The national population policy 2001-2025. Strategy of developing basic education. The national strategy of eradicating illiteracy and adults learning and national strategy of woman’ work. In addition to the poverty reducing strategy 2003-2005.
With respect to the legislative reforms, some legal articles which used to implicit discrimination against woman were amended in five laws: Nationality, Personal Affairs, Labor, Jails Organizing, Civil Affairs and Civil Registry.Concerning to combating violence against woman, the report indicated that there was growing attention over the this issue.
Both non governmental organizations and governmental ones had participated actively in different programs and functions aimed at raising peoples awareness on the phenomenon of violence against woman.
The report stated that surveys had showed up that violence against woman is promoted by the conventional social and cultural heritage. The harassment includes several forms such as oral abuse, physical punishment from the family or husband , coerced marriage and overstating dowries which eventually prevent men from getting married , consequently, women suffer from celibacy. In addition to that woman usually is being enforced to work in agriculture and growing cattle without wages.
With reference to woman’s role in the political participation and the process of decision making, statistics indicate that there is remarkable increasing of this area. The women rate in the electoral registration lists in the election 2003 reached to 42% against 27% in 1997, and 18% in 1993.
The report showed up that women’s share as voters had increased, meanwhile their participation as candidates decreased. Woman’s percentage as candidates had been reduced from 1.3% in 1993 to 0.6% in 1997 and 0.7% in 2003. Thus, women’s number who reached to the parliament had been reduced from two in 1993 and 1997 to one in 2003.
Woman’s representation in the local councils is still sketchy. In spite of her wide participation as voter in the first local councils election to be held in the country in 2001, she could not be as competitive candidate as the man. Hence , there merely (35) women out of (6035) the total number of local councils members.
With respect to the Shura Council whose members are appointed by the president of the republic, there are two women out of (111) members.