Women’s role in peace and security in Yemen

Literature review

Women’s political participation in Yemen’s public sphere has been limited to select members of the elite. It has been influenced by different historical legacies of state-building, competing nationalist and religious discourses, changing socio-economic conditions, and urban-rural divides within Yemen.

This literature review considers the role women have played and what political involvement have they had in Yemen historically; what impact has conflict had – including the ongoing conflict – on women’s lives and on their political participation; what social norms govern women’s activism in Yemen; and, what examples of previous involvement of women in peacebuilding processes exist, what strategies were used, how were obstacles overcome and what results were achieved.

This literature review was commissioned as part of research for the project ‘Enhancing women’s role in peace and security in Yemen’.  The research is being led by the Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO) and the Yemen Polling Center (YPC) in partnership with Saferworld, and will inform programme activities to support women’s peacebuilding efforts in Yemen by Saferworld in cooperation with the National Foundation for Development and Humanitarian Response (NFDHR) and Wogood for Human Security. The review intends to provide an overview of women’s interactions with peacebuilding efforts in Yemen, in view to informing current strategies on how to enhance their role.    

Read the literature review.

Read more about our work in Yemen.

Read more about our work on gender, peace and security.

“The norms of seclusion, family honour, and the need to protect and control the ‘weak’, which tend to limit women’s activism in Yemen, are often invoked in discourse as an argument of ‘what is right’, but are then often ignored in the face of pragmatic considerations.”

Marie-Christine Heinze