Starting before the bad guys
Currently this movement is working on the legal structure of transitional constitutional reform. His movement, whom he is chairing currently, had already been working on the case for several months including visits to established democracies such as Germany to learn from their experiences.
“We are starting before the bad guys, so that when it comes to decision making we are ready with our model for what we believe the constitution of the new Yemen should be like,” he said.
By the “bad guys” he did not mean anyone in particular or rather he meant a group of people who despite change would, by habit or will, want to keep the traditional ways of managing the country.
Yemenis like Abdulghani are preparing a surprise for the bad guys by being prepared with ready studied answers backed with international expertise.
There is also Resonate Yemen, another aspiring movement, but this time it is about youth. Resonate is currently creating youth coalitions around the country, even in places like Aden where the traditional opposition is said to be resistant to being involved with the central government.
The purpose of those coalitions is to create a united voice for youth (18 to 34), who make up to 70 percent of the population, but who are usually ignored when it comes to decision making.
They too are starting before the “bad guys.” And while the outreach committees of the new government should have already made progress with various groups such as youth and women, the youth are organizing themselves in a way to be visible and prepared. They have already voiced their demand of no less than 50 percent representation in all transitional committees, a request that has been sneered at by the ones in power, but applauded by civil society and the world.
However, women are still struggling and are not yet starting before the bad guys or anyone else. Somehow they are being left behind in the race to the future.
Perhaps it is because there is no real strong women’s movement, or even advanced women’s civil society with an ambition to have women’s voice heard. Watan Coalition was one of the initiatives whose attempts kept dying even before really starting, and unfortunately the Yemeni Women’s Union and the Women National Committee, despite being experienced strong arms for women, are not genuine civil society.
Nevertheless, YWU has already placed its demands for women last week and the WNC will do so on March 19. Hoping that we find a delightful surprise in that conference to find that women too will be starting before the “bad guys.”