The Yemeni network for fighting violence against women (SHIMA network) consists of 17 civil society organizations and the Women National Committee (WNC).
The founding members of the network were as follows:
- The Women's National Committee (WNC) in Sana'a;
- The Yemeni Women's Union, initially with branches in Aden and Abyan, to which were added branches in Ta'izz, Hudaydah and the Capital District;
- The Yemeni Mental Health Association in Aden;
- The Civil Society Forum in Sana'a;
- The Human Rights Information and Training Centre in Ta'izz;
- The Sisters' Arab Forum for Human Rights in Sana'a;
- The Women's Affairs Support Centre in the Capital District;
- The Women's Forum for Research and Training in Ta'izz;
- The Yemeni Girl Guides Association in the Capital District;
- The Yemeni Scout Association in the Capital District.
In 2002, the Sisters' Arab Forum for Human Rights and the Women's Forum for Research and Training withdrew from the SHIMA network. In 2003, the Gender and Development Studies Centre at Sana'a University, which conducted an in-depth field study of early marriage in the Hadramout and Hudaydah governorates, joined the network, as did the Ibhar Foundation for Childhood, the Arab Organization for Human Rights, the Young Leaders Foundation and the Arab Foundation for Women and Adolescents and the Social Care House for Women.
The SHIMA network has coordinated a number of programmes and projects, including a programme raising awareness of the dangers of HIV/AIDS; a programme raising awareness about the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Convention) and the Beijing Platform for Action; a campaign for a law or constitutional amendment establishing a quota for women in the Yemeni Parliament; and a programme on the importance of reproductive health from an Islamic perspective.
The SHIMA network has received institutional and technical assistance from Oxfam Great Britain since its establishment. The Danish International Development Agency provided more than $1 million in support of a project on individual and social attitudes towards early marriage and a change of policy on the minimum age of marriage.
The SHIMA network is currently focusing on having a minimum marriage age of 18 established by the Personal Status Law and has coordinated a campaign against early marriage. That would address the problem of girls being subjected to violence, deprived of their right to education and training and exposed to health risks as a result of early marriage. According to studies, the current age of marriage ranges from 8 to 15.
Source of Information
Response of the Government of Yemen to the questionnaire on violence against women 2011