Women in Peace and Transition Processes: Yemen (2011–2015)
After large-scale protests in Yemen in 2011, and a short period of violence, the Gulf Cooperation Council initiated a political transition process that began with an elite deal, then the formation of a Government of National Unity, new presidential elections, an inclusive National Dialogue process, and a constitution drafting process. Women were among the first involved in the 2011 protests and undertook concerted activism throughout the first months of the transition process. This helped to result in a level of women’s representation in the National Dialogue (ND) Conference that was unprecedented in the country’s history.
Women were accorded a 30 percent quota within all delegations to the ND; a separate women’s delegation (making up 7 percent of the ND’s membership); and a 30 percent quota on the ND committees. The women delegates to the National Dialogue encountered significant resistance, and they did not always achieve the 30 percent quota in the committees, but they did achieve the inclusion of several of their preferences in the ND conference resolutions as well as the draft constitution. These included a 30 percent quota for women in all state authorities, raising the legal age of marriage to 18, the guarantee of full and equal legal status for women, and provisions forbidding discrimination against women in public service employment. However, as of December 2017, the 2015 draft constitution has not been ratified through a referendum due to ongoing armed conflict, and women have largely been marginalized in attempts to broker peace in Yemen.