30 percent of National Dialogue issues about women
Thirty percent of the issues to be discussed during the NDC are related to women to ensure they will be able to participate in political and economic issues during the coming phase.
To help choose representatives, a workshop, funded by the UNFPA and organized by the WNC and the YWU, was held early this week in Sana'a.
Yemeni women plan to broaden their participation in current political, economic, and social issues, saying their participation in the NDC is essential to their representation in the future.
Fifty-three Yemeni women from different governorates, representing different civil organizations, political parties, independent youth, disabled women, female activists, lawyers and journalists participated in the workshop.
The criteria to select representatives to the NDC include area expertise, interest in political issues and concern for reconciliation in the country.
Fear of not applying standards
In spite of agreeing upon the standards of selecting the representatives, Liza Hassan, a woman from Aden, said, “Southern women aren't treated equally. Usually there are two kinds of people, those who believe in partnership and those who believe in majority. We still haven't reached an agreement.”
“There will be no partnership or effective participation in the NDC because southern women aren't treated equally, even though most female activists are from the south.”
"As a participant, I don’t think we will agree with each other because some parties, the Islah party for instance, oppose our views and opinions,” she said.
Amat Alsalam Al-Haj, a representative of the Islah party, said, “The Islah party is blamed for everything that goes wrong in Yemen. Anyone unable to convince others that she should be a representative blames the party for not giving her the opportunity to be famous.”
“We are focusing on making this workshop successful and finding good representatives for the NDC, impartial of personal views and beliefs. These issues are of Yemeni women, not political parties.”
Akhlaq Al-Samei, a Houthi representative, said, “We are ready to talk with all parties and anyone acknowledging the sectarian torture we’ve been subjected to. We demand to be treated like all other political parties.”
Ramziah al-Eryani, head of YWU, said, “We are at a crucial point in Yemen. We have to initiate dialogue, acknowledging each other and spreading love and peace among all people. Yemenis have gone through difficult times but they have proved they are wise and patient. They saved Yemen through the gulf initiative.”
“Currently, we don't know all of women’s issues and demands, but when the NDC starts they will become more clear. The NDC will enable women to get involved in political issues and elections regardless of their views,” she said.
Dr. Shafiqa Saeed Abdu, head of WNC, said, “This workshop aims to determine the standards for choosing the representatives for the preparatory committee of the NDC.”
The YWU, represented by Ramziah Al-Eryani and other members, handed a list to Yahia Al-Ra'i, head of parliament, containing the signatures of almost 3 million women demanding that women be allowed to hold authoritative positions in government facilities and civil organizations to increase women's effectiveness and participation in political issues, especially elections.