Young Yemeni Girl
Yemen is all over the news right now as the British, French, German and Dutch embassies in Sana’a all announced their closures and evacuation of their staff in response to an unspecified terror threat, part of a global heightening
of security measures.
Partners for Democratic Change’s affiliate Center (Partners Yemen) has been working in Yemen since 2009, two years before a popular uprising forced Ali Abdallah Saleh to step down at the end of 2011. With a new Unity government in place, a new Constitution being developed and parliamentary and presidential elections slated for 2014, Partners Yemen is working to support a peaceful transition by strengthening civil society, resolving conflicts, and developing local leadership. Violent extremism remains a constant threat. Our approach in Yemen is to address the underlying conditions that provide an environment conducive to the recruitment to extremist causes. These conditions include lack of political participation, youth marginalization, local grievances and violent conflict.
Partners Yemen works in some of the most remote parts of the country where those who are most vulnerable to violent extremism live. Through empowering local civil society, youth, women and other groups, Partners helps resolve local conflicts, support participatory development, empower marginalized and susceptible youth, and promote good governance and citizens’ participation. All of these activities are vital to fighting violent extremism in Yemen. By utilizing dialogue, training and mentoring, Partners helps give voice to local grievances and empower citizens to influence decision making and hold government to account.
Our project supporting the empowerment of young women in Yemen is an example of this approach. A young
woman in Yemen must navigate restrictive social norms and customs and fight against prejudice that limits her potential. Wardah is one of the participants in our women’s empowerment project. Half of women her age (15-17) are illiterate and only 1 in 4 will continue on to secondary/high school. Yemen has one of the worst records of child
marriage in the world. UNICEF has recorded that almost 50% of Yemeni women currently aged 20–24 had been married before they were 18. Fourteen percent had been married before the age of 15.
Support Partners for Democratic Change and our affiliate Centers to advance and empower Muslim women and their communities. See this short video of the work we are doing in Yemen where we trained 75 women, like Wardah, who recruited a further 800 female social volunteers who went on to host over 8,000 community meetings
reaching over 127,000 women in the governorates of Mareb, Al-Jawf and Shebwa.
Please DONATE NOW http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/women-leaders-in-yemen/
This work changed the perceptions of women about themselves and also changed men’s attitudes. The project opened up new opportunities for thousands of young women. We collected stories about girls and older women going back to school, about women’s increased self-respect and willingness to help other women, about women who now have a say in their families and in their communities, about members of the community getting together to solve community problems. There are stories about women starting to make their own money from small enterprises, about women who get together for charity, about women now understanding the causes of the illnesses of their children. Women are even better loved by their husbands because of what they have become as human
Partners for Democratic Change
global | local | together
The Future of Yemen