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News and Views: Yemen

Yemen: Women Athletes Strive to Make it

August 27, 2012

Although obstacles and restrictions are many, Yemeni woman can now barely enter the sports world after sports for Yemenis were exclusive to men.

There are multiple recent female sports achievements both locally and internationally. However, these achievements remain limited due to social attitudes—particularly in rural areas—toward women’s participation in athletics.

In this year’s Olympics, held in London, Yemen’s Fatima Al-Dahman, 19, participated in the 100 meter sprint race.

Yemen: Women harassed for not wearing face veil

May 1, 2012

Al-Qaeda militants in southern Yemen have begun to harass women who do not wear the veil with Bikya Masr reporting on one instance of physical abuse as militants forced a woman to don the full face veil in Aden.

The group, known as Ansar al-Sharia, believes a woman should follow the example of the Prophet’s wives and be fully covered, including her face.

Women in Aden, however, have expressed outrage at the recent form of harassment against them, according to a report on Sunday.

Why do they hate us? - Mona Eltahawy

April 23, 2012

In "Distant View of a Minaret," the late and much-neglected Egyptian writer Alifa Rifaat begins her short story with a woman so unmoved by sex with her husband that as he focuses solely on his pleasure, she notices a spider web she must sweep off the ceiling and has time to ruminate on her husband's repeated refusal to prolong intercourse until she too climaxes, "as though purposely to depriv

Yemen: Women Burn Veils To Stop Crackdown On Protest

October 16, 2011

Hundreds of Yemeni women on Wednesday set fire to traditional female veils to protest the government's brutal crackdown against the country's popular uprising, as overnight clashes in the capital and another city killed 25 people, officials said.

Yemen: Tawakkul Karman as Cause and Effect

October 21, 2011

Political activist Tawakkul Karman has brought Yemen’s revolution to New York, speaking directly on October 20 with Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and organizing rallies at the United Nations headquarters in lower Manhattan, the largest of which is slated for the afternoon of October 21. The

Yemen: Women Attacked During Peace Prize Celebrations

October 11, 2011

Dozens of women were reportedly injured in Yemen’s second-largest city on Sunday after government supporters attacked an anti-government rally celebrating Yemeni activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkul Karman.

According to reports, pro-government “thugs” threw stones at women who were taking part in a peaceful women’s march in the south-western city of Ta’izz.

Yemen: Women Toppling 'Tradition'

October 14, 2011

The leading participation of Yemeni women in their country’s revolt is raising hopes that regime change may bring along a mini revolution in the public and political role of women

Taiz — Yemeni women did not merely challenge the taboos surrounding their blackchadors, and break away from the isolation of their homes as they marched to the various liberation squares across the country. They may be precipitating a minor revolution against Yemen’s conservative customs and traditions. 

Yemen: Shari'a Replacing State Law

October 8, 2011

Amid regular military bombardment, the Abyan governorate of southern Yemen has witnessed the rapid deterioration of state institutions and the rule of law. Local Islamic law (sharia) courts have risen in this vacuum to govern communities’ daily affairs.

Yemen: Child brides, Too young to wed

May 24, 2011


Because the wedding was illegal and a secret, except to the invited guests, and because marriage rites in Rajasthan are often conducted late at night, it was well into the afternoon before the three girl brides in this dry farm settlement in the north of India began to prepare themselves for their sacred vows. They squatted side by side on the dirt, a crowd of village women holding sari cloth around them as a makeshift curtain, and poured soapy water from a metal pan over their heads.

Yemen: Communities Unite Against Child Marriage

February 11, 2011

A dozen Yemeni girls sit on the floor of a diwan in Al Sawd village, giggling and smiling bashfully as they describe what they hope to be doing in 10 years. They are between 8 and 15 years old, and are fortunate to attend one of the few local schools for girls.

Yemen: Women of the Revolts are Catalysts for Change

March 8, 2011


Representing all age groups and various backgrounds, they have proved to be the catalysts for change.

Dubai: The words of a mother whose son was killed by the Tunisian police in Al Qasreen area last December still ring in the ears of Hedia Belhaj Al Sebai.

"I have given my son as a martyr to Tunisia, and I still have four more sons whom I am also willing to sacrifice for the sake of my country," said the mother after her son was shot dead by the police during a protest, according to Hedia, a woman activist in her late 40s.

Yemen: Child bride gets divorce

June 8, 2010

SANAA, 28 March 2010 (IRIN) - Throngs of journalists pushed forward to get a picture of 12-year-old Sally al-Sabahi as she signed her divorce papers in the Yemeni capital on 27 March. As she dipped her thumb in dark ink and pressed it next to her name on an official document, she became Yemen’s fourth child bride divorcee. IRIN reported on Sally’s story in February, when she was referred to as Aisha to protect her identity.

Yemen: Islamic clerics in Yemen oppose child bride ban

March 22, 2010

SAN’A, YEMEN—Some of Yemen's most influential Islamic leaders, including one the U.S. says mentored Osama bin Laden, have declared supporters of a ban on child brides to be apostates.

The religious decree, issued Sunday, deeply imperils efforts to salvage legislation that would make it illegal for those under the age of 17 to marry.

The practice is widespread in Yemen and has been particularly hard to discourage in part because of the country's gripping poverty — bride-prices in the hundreds of dollars are especially difficult for poor families to pass up.

Yemen's Child Bride Backlash

April 30, 2010


After a 13-year-old girl's death, the conservative Islamists are retrenching -- with some bizarre, yet somehow effective, arguments.

The sad case of Elham Assi, a 13-year old Yemeni girl who died from internal hemorrhaging after being raped by her 23-year-old husband, has certainly sparked conversation in Yemen over the longstanding practice of child marriage. But the conversations -- taking place everywhere from Sanaa kitchens to the parliament building -- aren't exactly what you'd expect.

Yemen: Child forced into marriage dies

Mohammed al Qadhi, Foreign Correspondent SANA’A // Elham Mahdi al Assi, a 13-year-old girl, died from severe haemorrhaging and the rupturing of internal organs as a result of sexual intercourse, just five days after she was married. Her death follows a number of high-profile child marriage cases that have shaken Yemen and, activists hope, may go some way towards bringing about a law that would establish a minimum age for marriage.

Yemen: Islamic Clerics Oppose Child Bride Ban - Government to Decide

Yemeni women hold up the Quran and Arabic placard reading "yes to the legal rights of the Muslim woman" as they take part in a protest outside the parliament in San'a, Sunday, March 21, 2010.

Ahmed Al-Haj, Hadeel Al-Shalchi
The Associated Press

SAN’A, YEMEN—Some of Yemen's most influential Islamic leaders, including one the U.S. says mentored Osama bin Laden, have declared supporters of a ban on child brides to be apostates.

Dr Mohammed Baobaid: Men must be part of the solution

A leading Yemeni academic, Dr Mohammed Baobaid was presented on 26 September with an Everyday Hero award by the Canadian Centre for Research and Education for Violence Against Women and Children (CRVAWC) for his role as project coordinator of the Muslim Family Safety Project, an initiative to help victims of violence in the Muslim community in Ontario where he lives.