Time to recognize Yemeni women’s efforts to bring peace to their war-torn country

Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ahead of UN-supported consultations to end the devastating war in Yemen, a new report from UN Women examines the role of women in peace-making in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, reiterating the call for wider participation of women in all efforts to end conflict. 

Yemen has been locked in a devastating conflict that has killed or injured almost 60,000 people and displaced 3 million more. Yemeni civilians are facing indiscriminate armed attacks, a severe cholera outbreak and the looming threat of famine.

Risks facing women are even greater as gender-based violence is on the rise. Yet despite these grave risks, Yemeni women are also playing an active role in supporting peace and stability within their communities. They are leading humanitarian and conflict resolution activities at the local level to address the harsh impacts of fighting and to try to prevent further violence.

UN Women’s latest report, Women on the Frontlines of Conflict Resolution: Community Voices from Syria, Iraq and Yemen looks at how women in the region influence and shape local processes for conflict and dispute resolution. By showcasing Yemeni women’s diverse contributions to local mediation and peace, the report provides a dynamic image of women’s engagement for peace. Yet, these efforts are often dismissed as insignificant or irrelevant to international peace and security.

The report calls on the international community to recognize and support women’s contributions to local mediation and conflict resolution, and to improve the linkages between community peace initiatives and national peace processes.

This failure to adequately recognize women’s role in community conflict resolution in Yemen and across the region marginalizes their voices, and discounts the contribution that women’s skills, experiences and expertise in conflict resolution can bring to dialogue at both the national and international levels. 

 “Women in Yemen and the region are undeniably at the forefront of resolving conflict and seeking peace in their own communities. These efforts must be better linked to national peacemaking processes.” Said Mohammad Naciri, Regional Director of UN Women for Arab States. “The failure to hear their voices and harness their expertise will only make peace more elusive”

For further information, contact: diego.delarosa@unwomen.org

Read in Arabic here.