Even before 2015, Yemeni women were subject to discrimination, both in their homes and in the workplace. Women are systematically denied access to jobs, are under-represented in public office, and bear disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care-giving and domestic work.
In the context of conflict, gender inequalities are both greater and more visible. One-fifth of Yemeni households are headed by women younger than 18 years old, and women and children account for three-quarters of those who are displaced. Conflict is also correlated to a rise in gender-based violence, which was documented 36 per cent more in 2016 than it was just one year earlier. And in times of economic hardship, girls are less likely to stay in school, more likely to marry early, and less likely to receive basic health services – including gynecological and obstetric care.
Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, it is crucial to sustainable development. Experience demonstrates that empowering women stimulates economic growth and development in all areas. Ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health, legal protection and access to justice, opportunities for education and income-generation, and right to economic resources such as land and property are vital to achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.