Fatima - Head of Yemen Women Union
Fatima is president of the Yemen Women Union’s Aden Branch. She is also a local council member for Aden governorate, making her particularly passionate about supporting women in leadership.
Fatima, who has a master's degree in community service, has committed her life to addressing women's rights. As one of the most important members of the Yemen Women Union, her participation in several pro-women's justice campaigns has solidified their success and amplified crucial issues to the level of the Prime Minister, including the critical issue of women's economic empowerment.
“Yemeni women do not have access to most of their economic, social, and cultural rights and still face many challenges in exercising their full political and civil rights," Fatima explains. “Women are vastly underrepresented in the government and the labour force, with only 8.2 per cent of total paid employment in Yemen attributed to women. The government of Yemen lacks robust mechanisms to enforce the compulsory education law, resulting in many families keeping their daughters out of school for cultural or economic reasons,” she continues.
The ongoing armed conflict has led to widespread poverty and resulted in a social and economic insecurity that forces large sections of the population to rely on livelihood assistance, including temporary cash-for-work. This social and economic insecurity, combined with the deterioration of the rule of law and displacement have increased women’s vulnerability to exploitation. Moreover, the violent conflict has exacerbated the need for women to take on a leading role in supporting their family in addition to existing unpaid care and domestic work.
Fatima calls for the increased participation of women in community decision making, believing that this should be an inclusive and participatory process to ensure stronger and more sustainable development results. She also hopes for the increased participation of women in income-generating activities to support their households.
Learn more about Yemen Women Union here.