Facilitating a Localised, Inclusive, and Sustainable
Feminist Peace Process
The escalation of violence in Yemen, which began in 2014, has further exacerbated an already dire situation for Yemeni women. Since that time, women in Yemen have experienced growing security challenges, displacement, and increasing rates of violence inflicted upon them. At the same time, Yemeni women are almost entirely absent from discussions on how to solve the conflict – even though they are disproportionately affected by it.
Through our work in Yemen, WILPF is supporting our partner organisations and the Yemeni women’s movement more broadly to ensure their experiences and recommendations are reflected in the different tracks of the ongoing peace process, with a goal to reach a more localised, inclusive, and sustainable feminist peace process.
We are also seeking to promote Yemeni women as agents of change and influencers within their communities, which has the side effect of reducing harmful gender norms and expectations that prevent women from achieving equality. This work is in addition to advocating for accountability towards perpetrators of women’s rights violations and abuses.
“Yemeni women are not waiting for a prince on a white horse to come and save them, they are doing the hard work and facing unimaginable challenges; and they only need their loud voices to be heard.”
Founder and Director of Peace Track Initiative
WILPF’s partner in Yemen, the Peace Track Initiative (PTI), established in 2017, works towards localising and feminising the peace process through promoting inclusion and enhancing feminist knowledge and leadership.
PTI is recognised nationally and internationally as a key player in supporting the peace process in Yemen. In 2016, they mobilised over 70 Yemeni organisations and activists internationally and developed a Women, Peace and Security national agenda for Yemen, which was later acknowledged by the UN Security Council.
Yemen Feminist Peace High-Level Virtual Convening 2021
Peace Track Initiative, WILPF, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), hosted the Yemen Feminist Peace High-Level Convening between 28 June and 2 July, 2021.
During five days, the Convening featured roundtables and interactive dialogues that addressed the underlying national, regional, and international drivers of conflict in Yemen, current peace factors, and feminist policy options that target these issues.
It also presented the Feminist Roadmap for Peace in Yemen, developed in collaboration with Yemeni women leaders and national stakeholders over the last two years.
The Women Leading Yemen’s Peace Movement
Despite the dire situation in Yemen, Yemeni women are still standing strong, calling for their rights and for a future of peace. Rasha Jarhum, PTI’s founder and current chair, is a vocal advocate for peace and women’s rights in Yemen.In 2019, Jarhum was awarded the Anita Augspurg Award for Rebels against War by WILPF Germany and the City of Verden, for her tireless advocacy and inspiring activism for women’s rights in Yemen. Read more about Jarhum and the women leading Yemen’s peace movement.
Get to Know Yemeni Women Experts
Countless Yemeni women leaders inside the country and in the diaspora are doing amazing work in pursuit of peace and justice – as lawyers, journalists, activists, business women, and more.
Developed by PTI and with support from WILPF, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, and MADRE, the Women Experts database seeks to profile these Yemeni women leaders in order to support women’s inclusion in peace and political processes in the country.
Yemeni Women Map the Road to Peace
Ahead of the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Yemen in January 2019, WILPF collaborated with six Yemeni human rights organisations to issue a report titled Yemeni Women Map the Road to Peace. The report addresses the gaps in Yemen’s implementation of UPR recommendations on women’s rights, sexual and gender-based violence, and women’s participation in political and public life.
The report sheds light on the severe humanitarian crisis, the growth of sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, arms proliferation, and women’s exclusion from political and public life.
Moreover, it underlines the disproportionate impacts of conflict on Yemeni women, and shares recommendations to address the numerous challenges in the conflict-torn country.
Yemen’s Future is in Women’s Hands
Seeking to facilitate a space for Yemeni women to lead a localised, inclusive, and sustainable feminist peace process, a joint project was launched by WILPF and PTI in 2019 with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project seeks to create a feminist space for strategic collaboration, trust building, and exchange of information; strengthen engagement with the grassroots movement through ongoing consultations; and enhance advocacy for women’s inclusion in the peace process.
As part of this project, WILPF and PTI brought together 36 Yemeni women leaders from the North and South of Yemen and the international diaspora for a five-day convening in Jordan in June 2019.
This convening allowed Yemen women activists to meet, strategise, and ensure a coherent and transparent flow of information to foster movement-building and inclusion in peace. It also created an excellent opportunity for Yemeni women leaders to interact with diplomats, international stakeholders, and representatives of relevant UN agencies working on Yemen.
- HRC48: Statement on Yemen
- HRC46: Statement to the Interactive dialogue on oral update of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen
- HRC45: Statement to UN Human Rights Council 45th session (14 September – 7 October 2020)
- HRC42: UN Human Rights Council 42nd session (9 – 27 September 2019)