Out of ashes of war, women in Yemen arise

After eight years of war that took more than 377,000 lives, Yemen has enjoyed eight months of relative peace under a cease-fire brokered in April. Poverty remains high and the economy is in shambles, yet the war has had one salutary consequence. It has led to a shift in the way one of the world’s most male-dominated societies values women.

In August, for example, the Presidential Leadership Council (PLC), an interim governing coalition set up under the truce, appointed the first woman to the Supreme Judicial Council, the highest court authority. Last week, two Yemeni women were recognized by the United States Institute of Peace in Washington for their success in rights advocacy and peace building.

“Yemeni society’s view of women today is completely different from what it was before,” Ahmed Ghaleb, an education official in the city of Ibb, told The National, a media outlet based in the United Arab Emirates. “It used to be an unforgivable crime for women to work, but now society is more aware.” Participation for women in civic leadership roles, he added, is “one of their legitimate rights and not a favor.” 

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