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SANAA, Yemen — “Today, in Yemen, many women are deprived of their basic human rights as citizens of this country. Globally, it is still considered one of the toughest places in the world to be a woman. Women are a resource in Yemen, like everywhere else, and that need to be utilized,” states Dr Shadoul Ahmed, UN Resident Coordinator a.i.

The International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration in Yemen came in the aftermath of the conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), which paved the way for a promising consensus in key areas with a potential to advance women’s rights and promote of equal opportunities for women and men in the country.

Joining forces for Equality
The IWD was uniquely conducted under the patronage of His Excellency, the President of the Republic, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, with support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Yemen. Furthermore, 500 representatives from key government institutions, UN agencies, civil society organizations, donors, media and women from across the country gathered on this occasion. For the first time the Women National Committee and the Yemen Women Union uniquely joined forces under the same roof to mark the IWD.

The celebration particularly honoured twenty-two women who were awarded for their achievements in different areas of leadership.

Promising Gains for Yemini Women
“The gains made by women in the NDC as well as in the upcoming constitutional reform and subsequent development of legislation will give women more power to overcome societal and cultural obstacles. Those gains can empower women to claim their rights and put an end to discrimination of women and girls in Yemen in the foreseeable future,” says her Excellency, the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, on behalf of the President.

“Equality between women and men is about balance. It is about the protection of basic human rights among women and men, girls and boys. Sustainable progress in society cannot happen without stability, and stability cannot happen without a balance – to strike the balance equal opportunities need to be available” says Ms. Lene K. Christiansen, UNFPA Yemen Representative.