The Second National Conference on Combating Violence against Women was held in March 2010. The Women National Committee (WNC) organized it under the auspices of Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Mujawar, who is also president of the Supreme Council for Women.
In his statement, the Prime Minister said that the conference sent a powerful and clear message regarding the issue of violence against women. He also said that it was an affirmation of the Government's commitment to the approaches adopted by the various policies, plans and strategies, and an embodiment of the indubitable partnership between men and women.
The Prime Minister called on political parties and organizations to make a collective commitment to raising women's status to that of full partner in the forthcoming phase.
He referred to the governmental and quasi-governmental entities concerned with the present and future status of women that had recently come into existence, which were the counterparts of similar entities that had been established in civil society. They were indicative of the direction being taken by the State and the Government with regard to Yemeni women, and would function for the foreseeable future as benchmarks of the Government's implementation of its commitments to women.
He further said that the Government would do everything in its power to enable women to exercise their rights fully, which included translating policies on combating violence against women into operational programmes and projects.
The conference produced a number of recommendations that are as follows:
1. Institutional violence against women:
- The policies on combating violence against women contained in the fourth five-year plan (2011-2015) should be translated into action plans and operational projects and provided with sufficient funding;
- The role of the WNC as a Government mechanism specifically intended to address gender issues should be strengthened. The WNC should be upgraded to become a ministry of women's affairs;
- Consciousness of women's issues should be raised, and legal awareness should be disseminated among women;
- All concerned parties should improve implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Convention) and of the recommendations of its Committee which address all aspects of women's development;
- Awareness of the CEDAW Convention should be raised;
- In-depth studies should be conducted in order to explore the causes, origins and extent of institutional violence, setting out preventive measures to be taken by the public, private and joint sectors. The media should play a more active part in tackling institutional violence;
- A greater number of shelters should be opened for women victims/survivors of violence in several governorates that have seen increasing violence against women. Capacity-building should be intensified in existing homes;
- Parliament should be called upon to adopt forthwith a law on the minimum age for marriage;
- Information and statistics on the victims of early marriage must be made available in order to convince decision makers to determine a minimum age;
- Determination of the minimum age for marriage should be followed up;
- Mosque preachers' references to religious concepts contained in the Islamic sharia should be refined in order to curb the dominant culture of customs and traditions and combat violence against women;
- Health services and medical protection should be extended to women and children, especially in remote governorates;
- The WNC should tackle the issues facing women with disabilities;
- Women who obtain loans should receive vocational training in order to draw the maximum benefit from the loans;
- The recommendations of the CEDAW Committee should be implemented in accordance with parliamentary directives, with each concerned party assuming its own responsibilities. The WNC should follow-up the process;
- Governmental and non-governmental organizations should intensify efforts to improve the conditions of women prisoners;
- Agencies within the concerned ministries that are responsible for women's affairs should be strengthened in order to improve the situation of working women.
2. Political violence against women:
- A clear mechanism should be developed for the adoption of a quota system for women in elected and non-elected chambers;
- Women should be involved in discussions between political forces, in order to ensure that women's views are expressed and that they are represented in national mechanisms;
- Awareness of the importance of women's participation should be raised at all political levels, including in decision-making and in society as a whole;
- Legislation should be developed and consolidated in order to protect women from political violence during elections;
- Efforts should be combined in order to ensure that women are represented in elected bodies.
3. Violence against rural women:
- Focus should be placed on rural development programmes: 73 per cent of the population, half of which are women, live in rural areas. Such areas should be provided with a full range of services. Infrastructure should be improved. Rural areas should be included in the socio-economic development process, and internal migration should be curbed;
- The employment of female teachers should be encouraged in rural areas in order to increase the proportion of girls who enrol in school and pursue their studies.
4. Women refugees and armed conflict:
- Implementation of conventions on the protection of women refugees and displaced persons should be followed-up; psychological rehabilitation centres should be opened;
- Relevant parties should develop counselling programmes to make women refugees and displaced persons better aware of their rights;
- All relevant Government institutions should take into consideration the needs of women in situations of armed conflict, ensuring compliance with laws, conventions and international instruments for the protection of women.
5. Violence against marginalized women:
- Robust national legislation should be developed in order to ensure respect for the human rights of marginalized women, prohibit all forms of violence against them, and integrate them into all levels of society, including education, health and labour;
- The role of civil society and legal organizations should be strengthened through the adoption of programmes for training, social and psychological awareness raising.
Source of Information
Response of the Government of Yemen to the questionnaire on violence against women 2011