Message by Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to Yemeni women on the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2016
On this day, the 8th of March, the world celebrates every year the International Women’s Day. Women have been struggling for years in the past and they have always been present at the core of national, political and social causes.
For years, Yemeni women were the strong part of the structure of Yemen and played an effective role in building generations. However, the situation of Yemeni women today is not much different than the situation of the country itself. Women mourn their homeless families and their dead children while destruction surrounds them from every side.
However, and despite the ongoing conflict in the country, the security, economic, political and humanitarian challenges, Yemeni women are still defiant and they continue their struggle. They refuse to give up despite all pains and practices perpetrated against them, their land and their country. The role of women is pivotal at the times of armed conflicts and deteriorated social conditions. Women work relentlessly to maintain the social fabric, teaching children the principles of peace and making initiatives that reduce internal polarization and contribute to conflict resolution.
The outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference have stipulated that women shall be represented by 30% in state authorities. This is a good start to strengthen the role of Yemeni women in public affairs. However, this role needs to expand in the future. Women need to be key partners in the development of the society and in addressing social issues affecting girls in Yemen, including domestic violence, child marriage and continued education. There is no doubt that Yemeni women will play critical roles in moving the country towards a state of peace, security and respect of the country and its humans.
During the past months, I have been cooperating with a unique group of Yemeni women who showed wisdom, awareness and keenness to the interests of the country and its people. I have deep respect to all those women and to all Yemeni women who should all work to realize their potential and achieve social and development equality in the country. With the UN team in Yemen, I will be very keen to make every effort to reach a peaceful solution to restore peace to Yemen, reunite Yemeni families and open the door for women and men together to continue the march of peace and prosperity.