Celebrating Women: Notes from Yemen

March 8, 2013

In honor of International Women’s Day, Counterpart will be highlighting women around the world. Enjoy this post and the others posted today, March 8, 2013:

The staff gathered around the office’s large table, enjoying their lunch and celebratory sweet desserts. They were surrounded by photographs of powerful women: women seeking change right here in Yemen, strong women within Counterpart International, and female role models from around the world.

It was March 6, 2013 – two days before the annual International Women’s Day – and Counterpart’s office in Yemen was ready to celebrate.

The Responsive Governance Project (RGP) team’s Women’s Day Celebration acknowledged the strides women are making in Yemen and around the world. Female staff spoke out about their experiences as a woman in Yemen, and their hopes for the future. As Yemen continues its political transition, the role of women in the process is increasingly important.

The event also included a spotlight on two Yemeni gender activists: Shafiaq Saeed and Amal Al-Basha.

Shafiaq Saeed, Chairperson of the Women’s National Committee, spoke about her own experiences – being a woman, focusing her career on women’s rights, and the activities of her organization. She also discussed her plans to enhance women’s roles in political life in Yemen.

Amal Al-Basha, a human rights activist and chairperson of the Arab Sister Forum, spoke about her current role as the spokesperson of the National Dialogue Preparatory Committee. She shared her experiences and obstacles she is facing in as the ND Committee spokesperson. She led a discussion with the Counterpart team on how the National Dialogue process could benefit women — enforcing a quota of women in political parties, ensuring the bylaws for the National Dialogue Conference include and encourage women’s participation.

The RGP staff were also joined by several notable youth activists and women’s rights activists, plus representatives from civil society organizations, the Women’s National Committee and the Preparatory Committee of National Dialogue Conference (NDC).

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