Empowering Women, Youth and Civil Society Organisations

During the Transition Agreement negotiations in 2011, the United Nations played a key role to ensure the participation of women, youth and civil society for the first time in the political process in Yemen. Consequently, these constituencies participated in the decision-making process starting from the preparatory phase for the National Dialogue Conference. Furthermore, 30 per cent of the Dialogue delegates were women, 20 per cent youth, and likewise for civil society. Women headed three Working Groups on key issues: Saada, rights and freedoms, and good governance. They were represented in the Presidium and the Consensus Committee, and later in the Constitution Drafting Commission, and the National Body to oversee the implementation of the National Dialogue outcomes. Similarly, representatives of youth and civil society participated in the Preparatory Committee, the National Dialogue and its Working Groups, the Secretariat, and the National Body.

On 3 July 2013, the United Nations established the “Women and Youth Forum” to provide a space for open discussions, and an exchange of views, facilitating collaboration towards achieving the objectives of these constituencies. The Forum enabled women, youth and civil society to join efforts and produce common visions that will segue into the National Dialogue outcomes. Following the conclusion of the Dialogue, they produced constitutional guidelines in three documents for the Constitution Drafting Commission to incorporate their rights and their recently achieved gains in the new constitution.

The United Nations continues to provide support for these constituencies through the “Women and Youth Forum,” among other initiatives.