. . WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .
An article from the Nobel Women’s Initiative
After four years of devastating war, the people of Yemen demand peace. It is women who are the most-affected by the war and their voices need to be heard in the peace negotiations. We, as the Women for Yemen Network, call for women to be represented in peace talks, starting with the upcoming meeting in Sweden this December. We call on the international community to put pressure on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to ensure that women are present at the peace talks. When women’s voices are included, a more lasting peace is secured.
Many issues, essential to building a lasting peace, are being neglected in the current peace negotiations. When women are present at the peace table, they ensure that the lived experiences of women and their communities are reflected in the final peace agreement.
No true peace will happen without addressing the following issues:
Women’s role in the peace process:
Ensure that women are present in the peace process. United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security calls for an increase in the participation of women in all decision-making, including in peace processes. In establishing peace in Yemen, as per the National Dialogue Conference of Yemen, women should comprise least with 30 percent of negotiators at the peace table.
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Support, financially and politically, for women-led initiatives and organizations working on peace for Yemen at the grassroots level and in the diaspora.
Restoring normalcy in Yemen:
* Institute an immediate ceasefire.
* End the Saudi and UAE-led land, air and maritime blockade on Yemen.
* Ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the conflict-affected areas and that international aid focuses on income generation for families and communities.
* Release all illegally-detained persons and abductees held by all parties to the conflict.
* End the three-year, Houthi-imposed siege of Taiz.
Start the demining process and ensure that there is a clear map of where the landmines are located.
Release, immediately, all children enlisted in military operations and ensure that their physical and psychological needs are met.
Ensure that the principle of transitional justice is adhered to and that compensation is provided for as a prerequisite to sustainable peace.
We are a network of women’s human rights defenders and journalists working for a women’s–centred approach to building a sustainable peace in Yemen.
(Thank you to Janet Hudgis, the CPNN reporter for this article.)