The joint statement of Women’s Solidarity Network and Abductees’ Mothers Association presented on Advancing Yemeni Women’s Meaningful Engagement in Building Peace virtual event, organized by The Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen (OSESGY) on October 29th, 2020.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to present this joint statement on behalf of Abductees’ Mothers Association and Women’s Solidarity Network.
We are meeting today to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security.
The anniversary happens to take place as Yemen lives in devastating crisis and suffers from brutal conditions due to the armed conflict, which worsens the humanitarian crisis in the country.
Moreover, the conditions have gotten worse with the outbreak of lethal diseases and COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we are in a dire need of implementing UN’s women, peace and security agenda to reality.
The violations against women have been unprecedentedly intensifying. Women have been victims of direct violations of murder, abduction, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and physical assaults. Yet, women continue fulfilling their role in peace building, risking their lives on daily basis in order to demand releasing abductees, to negotiate to allow the passing of aids to besieged areas, to lead mediations to stop armed conflicts, and to implement ceasefires in order to evacuate civilians within areas of conflicts.
Despite all these sacrifices, however, women still face systematic exclusion in decision making and peace negotiations, as all the negotiation teams that signed Stockholm and Riyadh agreements had no female members in them.
More than a week ago, and in spite of having expressed their reservations of exchanging war prisoners with abductees and arbitrarily arrested and forcibly disappeared persons, mothers waited in Seyoun Airport and Aden Airport anticipating their released sons, who had been detained for more than five painful long years. We were pleased to see mothers finally hold their sons. Yet, it broke our hearts to watch the mothers whose sons and daughters were not included in the exchange deal.
Therefore, we present the following recommendations in order to implement UN’s women, peace and security agenda in Yemen;
1. To start mending mothers’ hearts by unconditionally releasing all abducted civilians, who have been arbitrarily arrested, by separating their cases from prisoners’ exchange deals, and by providing the necessary support programs for the abductees and their families.
2. To completely stop the war by resuming negotiations in order to build stable and permanent peace, and providing the needed aids for feminist organizations in order to support peace and aid operations.
3. To condemn, criminalize, and fight the rape of women, children and men, and severely punishing the perpetrators.
4. To achieve the principle of gender equity in decision making regarding peace building and other political topics.