Population size and demographic: 31.56 million. 49.63% of the population is female and 50.37% is male
War in Yemen:
It is important to note that the conflict that arose in Yemen in 2014 has dramatically affected all areas of life in the country, like the social, economic, political, environmental, and health-related spheres of Yemeni society. With the collapse of these structures, certain already vulnerable and marginalized groups, including but not limited to women, become even more exposed to acts of violence and discriminatory actions, which increasingly eradicate their freedom, rights, and human living conditions. About 20.7 million, or 66% of the population of Yemen was in need of some form of humanitarian assistance in 2021 due to the war and its consequences (7).
Women at Work:
In Yemen, the female labour force participation is 6.3%, a drastically different rate than that of men, 72.3%. The unemployment rate for women in Yemen is 26.39%. Of all female workers, 2.14% work part-time. Only 0.60% of all firms had female majority ownership and 1.6% had female top managers (1). Women constituted only 4.5% of all senior and middle management positions in 2014 (2). Before war broke out in Yemen, in 2014, about half of the 230,000 women employed worked in the agriculture industry and around one third worked in the service sector. When it comes to education, a report showed that women who had pursued higher education were more likely to be a part of the workforce than women with only primary education. The rate for women with higher education degrees was 62.1% (3).
Women’s Participation in Parliament:
When it comes to political empowerment, Yemen 151 out of 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report ranks Women gained the right to vote in Yemen in 1967 (1). There are 0 seats held by women in the House of Representatives and women make up 1.11% of the Shura Council, which means out of the 90 members, only 1 seat is held by a woman and the remaining 89 are held by men. (4)
Violence against Women:
When it comes to violence against women, around 67% of Yemeni women have experienced gender-based violence in their lifetime. The child marriage rate is incredibly high, as 31.9% of girls aged 20 to 24 were married or in unison before they reached 18 years of age. The FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) rate for women aged 15 to 49 years is 18.5% (5). In a study published in 2002 with 120 female participants, 55% said they’d been abused physically, 34% financially and 17% had been victims of sexual abuse. The most prevalent type of physical abuse for Yemeni women in 2002 was beating, which 46.3% of all participants had experience, for most women at the hands of their husbands (6). According to a different study done on domestic violence against women in Yemen during the war (specifically between 2014 and 2021) 65% of the women who reported having faced domestic abuse had faced this kind of violence already before the war started. When it comes to physical violence, 37% of participants stated they’d been beaten, 8% had been tortured and 2% had been deprived of their freedom of movement. The study showed that 39.9% of women who documented cases of violence for the study had reported them to the police, and 15.5% of those women had resorted to the authorities due to being tortured, severely beaten or victims of an attempted murder (7).
When it comes to health and survival, Yemen is ranked 129 out of 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report of 2020. The healthy life expectancy for women in Yemen is 55.5 years. The maternal mortality rate is quite high, with 164 deaths per 100,000 live births. Only 44.7% of births are attended by skilled personnel and only 25.1% of pregnant women between 15 and 49 years of age receive antenatal care of at least four visits (1). Adolescent fertility rate stands at 57 per 1000 girls aged 15 to 19 in 2020 (2). In 2013, only 40.5% of women had their need for family planning met with modern methods (7).
When it comes to educational attainment for women, Yemen ranks 150 out of 153 countries. There’s an astounding discrepancy in the literacy rate between men and women, with women’s literacy rate only reaching 35% and men’s 73.2%. When it comes to enrolment in primary school, the rate stands at 78.7% for women and 89.4% for men. Enrolment in secondary school drops to 40.2% for women and tertiary education has a rate of only 6.2% on female enrolment. (1)