A Workshop on Women in Leadership Positions and Institutional Work
The workshop took place on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

 The speakers were:

1. Mr. Houria Mashhour: a founding member of the National Accord Movement, an advisor to the Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice.
2. Dr. Fawzia Nasher: Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Magic International Trade, Chairperson of the Yemeni Businesswomen Council, Chairperson of the Businesswomen’s Committee in the General Federation of Yemeni Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chairperson of the Business Committee of the Arab Women Investors Union.
3. Mr. Fahmy Badawi: Assistant Undersecretary for Youth Affairs in Hadhramaut.

The meeting began with a welcome and introduction to the guests and a review of the importance and topic of the meeting. Each speaker was given 15 minutes to review his theme and at the end of the presentation a number of recommendations were raised.
Dr. Abdullah spoke about the challenges and dangers that limit the contribution and participation of women in the field of mediation and peace building. He addressed her role throughout history and reviewed the role of patriarchal society in excluding women from their political roles, including participation in peace negotiations. And the importance of Resolution 1325 on women, security and peace, and the importance of reflecting it on reality through effective and real participation, and whether there is real participation of women during the various stages of negotiations at the level of Kuwait, Geneva, Sweden and others.
And how the role of women declined due to a number of dangers during the war, and how women were excluded from the recent formation of the government.
He pointed to the need to compel the concerned international bodies to commit the parties to the conflict to give women a percentage of representation, and to have women in each delegation, and their presence in civil society organizations, and party leaders. Human rights work, and the importance of highlighting women at the local level.
There are women who worked effectively in the field of mediation, prisoners, detainees and kidnappers, and opened roads, but their roles remain limited.
The most dangerous thing is that the absence of women at this stage will reflect on their presence in the coming stages during the formation of the government.
The representation of women decreased compared to their presence in the national dialogue, and this indicates how male attitudes towards women have changed.
The issue of movement between governorates and conflict areas that hinders the work and activity of women.
It concluded with a set of recommendations, the most important of which are:
1 - Networking between women's blocs significantly.
2- Involving women political leaders representing the parties in seminars and conferences in their political capacity.
3- Training and qualifying women leaders, politicians and civil society.
4- Work to involve women leaders in the international negotiations on Yemen
5-Advocacy for the return of women leaders to the front of official and political work after systematic absence

Then Ms Laila Al-Thawor spoke: On the axis of assessing the reality of women in the field of local mediation.
Starting to talk about clarifying the concept of mediation and negotiation, and how the ancient Yemeni bystanders were during the reign of Queen Bilqis and her position at the level of consultation and negotiation.
And how was the struggle of women and the decline that occurred within the scope of feminist work, and how the role of women began within the political parties in Yemen, and she referred to the experience of the Arab Spring Party and how women were confronted and fought.
And the role of the 2011 revolution and the emergence of women to express their will and their rights, as well as the National Dialogue Conference, in which the demand for the representation of women is not less than 30%, but this representation will only be through political parties, hence the exclusion of women in their parties
Hence, women had to be present in decision-making positions at the level of political parties to be able to participate and bring about the required changes
And that politicians are seeking to deliberately and deliberately exclude women, and the formation of the new government is the best evidence.
She noted the many women's initiatives that worked in the field of peace and it is necessary to take them and work to develop them. How did the number of women participating in the Yemeni negotiations decline, and here we blame the international and local community for reducing the number, which is due to the parties' failure to compel the presence of women at these tables.
She pointed out the importance of concerted efforts to work to get women out of prisons and detention centers and to advocate for them. She said that men are the cause of igniting the fire of war. And how some women were forced to leave Yemen because of the threats they are exposed to. To demand the international community to have explicit UN resolutions as it is in Iraq, and for there to be international committees present during the investigation stages.
She spoke about her work in the field of prisoners in 2015 and that there are many challenges facing working in this file, especially women, and there is no one to shed light on the work of women in this field. And the importance of strengthening women's alliances to achieve the goals that women seek and to expand the circle of women's participation at home and abroad. And getting out of the scope of weakening the role of women and hitting them together.
Shedding light on active women in all academic, civil, legal, media, political, etc. fields, supporting women at home and providing them with protection.
And how to be careful in dealing with women politicians, and this is due from her point of view to the international trend towards the work of women as politicians and reducing their role, and this in turn made women’s participation in the reality of their joining civil society organizations or in a personal capacity.
Re-evaluating the situation and uniting women's efforts through men's support for women's efforts, since the work is complementary and there is no separation in the construction and peace process.

It concluded with a set of recommendations:
1- Forming a media and human rights network to pressure and advocate for women’s issues
2- Supporting women’s efforts in mediation, logistically and morally, and highlighting this role and encouraging it in the media.
3- Working to involve women mediators and influencers in peace talks and to enhance their role within society.
4- Stop excluding women party leaders and pay attention to the role of influential women among politicians and party leaders, because this increases the ability of women to enter the political arena and reach decision-making positions
5- The necessity of paying attention to parties led by women, such as the Arab Hope Party (formerly the Spring) to create a successful party model for women’s party leaders and to highlight this role and encourage other parties to appoint women to these positions and thus have a greater impact in building peace within those parties and components.

Ms. Shinaz Al-Akhali spoke about the needs to strengthen the roles of women in mediation and peacebuilding.
She started by talking about conflicts and wars that involve violence and that have a disproportionate impact on women and girls and exacerbate gender inequality and discrimination. Women are also effective agents in bringing peace during times of armed conflict, as they view the scene from all angles and are more careful To get out of the cycle of conflict and violence by virtue of the fact that they are often not one of the tools of political conflict, and this in turn qualifies them to provide solutions to all parties with a more impartial vision, but their roles as essential players in establishing peace have not been sufficiently recognized, especially in Yemen.

She pointed out that there are many obstacles that prevent women from participating in politics, such as structural barriers that are imposed through racist institutions and laws that still limit women's options to run for office, as is the case in times of conflicts, where their roles are limited only to participation and intervention in humanitarian work, despite They are the primary meaning of these conflicts, and the involvement of women is an influential factor in general in understanding the conflict and in expanding the local base concerned with the peace process and thus increasing its legitimacy.The Yemeni National Dialogue Conference approved a 30% quota for women’s participation in all government positions, as well as in the formation of delegations and committees. UN Resolution 1325 supports women’s participation in all peacekeeping operations during the period of armed conflict, ensuring their strong presence in all official and unofficial committees, which is one of their tasks. Achieving peace in all its stages.

She wanted the example of Liberia and how women were able to achieve peace. A local experience was reviewed through the "Taiz Women for Life" initiative, of which it was one of its members, and how women sought to play the role of mediators in finding a civil outlet.

It reached a set of recommendations:
1.    The first need: There is pressure that no official local committee is formed to manage any understandings, peace building or national reconciliation, or there is a clear participation in the necessity of implementing the outcomes of the national dialogue and the Security Council’s decision to represent at least thirty percent of women, because women are present in official committees It gives women more power of influence because they have become decision-makers, and here the importance of negotiating with them plays a role in paying attention to any proposals that they put in place, in addition to the fact that their presence with the main players directly makes them close to the source of information and enables them to know the nature of the conflict more and more clearly, and this makes their assessment of the nature of the conflict more objective and therefore Thus, it helps her in assessing the obstacles or identifying the obstacle more accurately, instead of submitting to the falsification of awareness that the conflicting parties bring to the media, and each side accuses the other. The presence of women in any negotiating process increases their ability to assess where the problem lies and strengthens their skill in developing solutions and uncovering the obstructing party.

2.    The second need is the need for international and local organizations to provide direct support to women’s organizations and initiatives, strengthen their institutional building, and ensure support for the infrastructure of these organizations so that their programs achieve sustainability and contribute to making them a key player in keeping pace with developments in the situation of local conflicts and what it needs to focus on the quality of programs and projects that need intervention and mediation To reduce any conflict, international organizations should pay attention to the rehabilitation and training of women in mediation, dialogue and conflict resolution processes, and other trainings that increase the empowerment and participation of women in resolving local conflicts, in addition to the need to establish and support women’s coalitions and networks that work in mediation in resolving local conflicts Both small and large

3.    The third need lies in the need to focus on expanding the circle of attracting partisan women from all parties and working on targeting them with programs to qualify advanced women leaders in programs to resolve conflicts and bring peace and reduce the effects of war. There must be a cumulative process in targeting the same women so that at each stage It presents a specific rehabilitation and empowerment project that develops according to the real needs of the peace building process so that there is no interruption in the rehabilitation and training process or random targeting. Specific targeting and ensuring continuity is very important in establishing lasting peace in Yemen.
After the presentation of the axes was completed, an opportunity was opened for the interventions of the attendees, which were as follows:

Arwa Al-Shamiri: We as women working in the field of peace in the field are exposed to many violations and many threats, and in return we do not find any legal aid, especially from the authorities concerned with protection

There should be protection bodies for active women, for example, the Yemeni Women’s Union unfortunately does not provide legal support for activists who are subject to violations, as well as “unwomen.”

With regard to mediation, is "mediation carried out between an army and a civilian destination", citing what happened in the city of Taiz during the handover of some sites that were under the control of the army, which are private places for the government water corporation. This operation took place through mediation efforts, and it is known that the army is supposed to hand over civilian sites without mediation.

Dalia Mohamed: Women's alliances must be strengthened to achieve general and specific goals for women's issues. Women who are outside the country and have relations with international bodies or the envoy's office and the United Nations must support women's issues and their presence in various positions in the government and others.

It is necessary to build capacity for women in the field, as there is still a need for some skills, and the policy of exclusion should not be followed in choosing women only. Taking into consideration and rehabilitating women who do not belong to any institution.

It emphasizes the story of legal support for women in general and for battered women in particular.

Sabah Muhammad Saeed: You see that the absence of women and their participation in any mediation cannot succeed, because women are one of the groups affected by the war, and they have no interest in the continuation of the war.

There must be a single and effective women's bloc, and efforts must be unified towards achieving the goals, and the work of women is complementary, whether at home or abroad.

The Yemeni Women's Union provides legal support to some domestically abused women, and there may be shortcomings and lack of interference in providing this service for women working in the field of politics and rights.

Taqiya Noaman: Women's representation and work must be provided for protection. There must be an alliance, and the Yemeni Women's Union is responsible for it, in cooperation with some organizations.
Iman Marei: Yemeni women are subjected to many violations and violence during the war, in Article 29 of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1940 in the first and second additional fields, they recommended the protection of women in particular against any aggression to complement the protection of women during the armed conflict, in addition to the resolution issued by the Security Council 1325 related to women and peace and security.

Hoda Aoun: There are many local women's initiatives at the rural level, during which they provide wonderful experiences in resolving disputes and playing the roles of mediators in arbitration and reconciliation.

I, along with some colleagues, worked in the field of opening the crossings in Taiz governorate for two years, and we did not know our roles, whether it was reconciliation, arbitration or mediation. There was no real training or qualification. Mediation case is not easy.

Dr. Labib Nasher: There is no Islam without women's participation, but there is a conflict over the extent of women's participation in the recent period and the decline in the level of their representation to the minimum, whether at the level of the government or at the level of delegations participating in the negotiations.

Is it required that the representation of women be a formal protocol or a real entitlement, and therefore the real entitlement needs an impact on the ground, whether inside or outside Yemen? The question is who is the woman that everyone fears and works to convey the voice of women, or what is the bloc or coalition that can play the same role? There is a shortcoming in supporting, representing and defending women at the level of women's components, and at the level of parties, and this is what happened when they were asked to raise women to participate in negotiations.

Amal Al-Basha: I agree with a lot of what has been suggested, but I want to say that there have been wonderful women since February 11, 2011, and we have been hearing voices for women and young women at home and abroad, on all levels and on social media, but there is a strong generation and interlocutors of girls and it is difficult to enumerate them.

The issue of women going out in marches or sit-ins. There are new circumstances. Despite that, there were a number of marches, including the one that took place in Sana’a denouncing the killing of Ali Abdullah Saleh, “the former president of Yemen.” Now it is difficult for women to go out for such matters, as violations, shootings and arrests occur.

The exit of women has become difficult in the absence of the state and state institutions and protection, or deterrence from the issue in the event of any violations.

With regard to the rounds of negotiations, the presidency was the one who determined the list of participating names without involving the political parties in the selection, but rather informing them of who would participate, and the parties agreed reluctantly.

And the presence of one woman in the rounds of negotiations that took place in Geneva and Sweden with the participation of Professor “Rana Ghanem.” Her nomination for the presidency came from the ranks of the candidates, and the party supported that. However, independent women may be present in the logistical support in the advisory or technical group of the Office of the UN Envoy.

Laila Al-Tawr: There are many successful stories in the field of mediation for women at the local level, and there are no parties that highlight these roles and shed light on them, and do not support them logistically or financially, and here many women face real obstacles to not continue. And sometimes there are some individuals who take advantage of the women’s success in the mediation process and snatch them from their hand in a tribal way, and appear as if they are heroes of the success of many mediations. There are also other obstacles where women are exposed to threats, the difficulty of movement between villages and governorates, and financial support and protection for women. It is necessary to know the roles in the case of mediation or negotiations and dialogue, because this will help in carrying out the mission and achieving success.

Dr. Abdullah Shaddad: With regard to the issue of legal support and protection for those who have been subjected to domestic violence and khul', but women who are subjected to abuse for political reasons do not actually unify protection mechanisms. The Yemeni Women's Union provided support for domestically abused women, but in fact we support providing protection and legal support for political women who are subjected to violations, and the Bar Association should have a role in protecting the law.
The issue of mediation in the water establishment is supposed to be extradition without mediation because it is within one government, but the situation imposed itself.
The opportunity was given to respond to the interventions and questions from the speakers, and the meeting ended at half past five.

Share this post
A Workshop on Women in Local Decision-Making Positions