A working Partnership Between the Foundation and the International Peace Institute to Advocate the Rights of Women and Children in the Constitution

The Family Counseling and Development Foundation held a working partnership with the project "Equal Citizenship for Women in the Constitution" under the Arab Forum on Citizenship in Transition, supported by the International Peace Institute in September, 2014.

The Foundation's initiative is to establish this partnership as a prelude to advocacy in order to include in the Constitution provisions that protect the rights of the family, women and children in general and protect them from gender-based violence in particular.

This work partnership resulted in the implementation of the advocacy plan for the policy paper prepared by the researchers Wameed Shaker and Suha Bashirin of the Institute earlier.

The paper entitled "For a Constitution for All Yemenis Men and Women" proposed constitutional guidelines on the rights of women in the Yemeni Constitution, which was being drafted by the 17-member Republican Committee, including 4 women.

As part of the partnership between The Family Counseling and Development Foundation and the International Peace Institute, the Foundation has adopted the outputs of the policy paper as part of an advocacy campaign to include the right to protection against gender-based violence, personal safety and security rights and family rights in the new Yemeni Constitution.

On September 29, 2014, the Foundation held a round-table meeting and invited various organizations, initiatives and networks working to advocate the integration of women's rights in the Constitution and a number of experts in law, economics, sociology and media to present the outputs of the policy paper.

After the round-table meeting, the Foundation held a meeting the following day with a group of specialists, who participated in the roundtable meeting, to discuss the follow-up steps and the implementation of the advocacy campaign.

The follow-up meeting resulted in a statement addressed to the President of the Republic in which participants stressed the need for the political leaders’ commitment to the outputs of the national dialogue, which required the inclusion of the rights of the family, women and children in the Constitution. However, the political developments that hit Yemen due to differences of parties and political components, and the war the country has been through since March 2015, led to the cessation of the political process, and therefore, the freezing of the draft constitution, which was the most prominent points of that dispute.

The statement is as follows:


Statement of the round-table meeting on equal citizenship for women in the Constitution

The implementation of the results of the round-table meeting organized by the for Family Counseling and Development Foundation on Women's Rights in the Constitution in cooperation with the International Peace Institute, and participation of a number of civil society organizations and representatives of government institutions. Meanwhile, with the efforts made by a coalition of women's rights advocates and other women's and human rights organizations working in the Yemeni arena to support and advocate the rights of Yemeni women in the new constitution agreed by all the political forces and civil society components, including the women and youth component, and the commitment to implement the outputs of the national dialogue conference, which confirmed its results to include all the rights and freedoms of women in the new constitution, especially the quota of women in the three authorities and not less than 30% The stage in which Yemen is living requires all energies and capacities to be combined at the individual and collective level in order to guarantee these rights and commitment to implement them and reflect them in general principles and constitutional directives rather than in transitional provisions that do not live up to the aspirations of women and the ambitions of Yemeni society that seeks freedom and change.

In order to continue to support and advocate women's rights to participate actively in building the modern civil state and to meet the requirements of the next stage, which will carry many challenges and require the active participation of all its people, women and men. We ask you, Mr. President, of the Republic of Yemen to respond immediately and promptly to the fulfillment of these demands, first and foremost to affirm the rights and freedoms that the new constitution must reflect in order to abolish all forms of discrimination and violence against women and abide by international conventions and conventions. As well as the implementation of the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference on the quota of women in the new government formation by granting women not less than 30% of ministerial portfolios.

We are fully aware that the State and the Government are firmly convinced of the roles and multiple contributions of women and their access to decision-making positions and that the success of the peace and partnership agreement signed by the political parties is also contingent on the inclusion of women in the political process.

Finally, we reiterate our pledge to support the process of democratic and political transition which will form a new era for all Yemenis.

Dated May 1, 2016