STC REITERATES COMMITMENT TO EMPOWERING SOUTH YEMENI WOMEN LEADERS
[BERLIN – 3 JULY 2020] As UN Women celebrates its tenth anniversary, the Southern Transitional Council renews its commitment to giving a voice to Southern women across the South and within the UN-led political process for Yemen. Commenting on this occasion, Amira Augustin, Deputy EU Representative of the STC, said:
“UN Women’s 10-year anniversary marks a celebration of the international community’s commitment to empowering women, but it is also a reminder that far more progress is needed to achieve the women, peace, and security agenda. The women of South Yemen have long been leaders in peacebuilding, politics, and humanitarian efforts in the South. While we endure the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and COVID-19 pandemic, Southern women bear the brunt of the suffering. Yet, their voices are too often excluded from decision-making spaces concerning the Southern issue and broader Yemeni crisis.
“It is well accepted that the empowerment and active inclusion of women is vital to ensuring political processes are representative, credible, and lead to sustainable peace. Such recognition must be translated into concrete action to secure – not just call for – increased participation of women in political processes. In the case of Yemen, women are almost completely absent from the negotiating table, relegated to consultations and initiatives in the margins. These efforts are welcome but there remains no alternative to having us at the table with the ability to influence the agenda of the talks.
“Southern women feel doubly marginalized from international efforts to solve the Yemeni conflict. And it is high time that the UN and international community act to ensure that Southern women are adequately represented in their initiatives. Furthermore, it is crucial that these initiatives recognise the diversity of Yemeni women’s perspectives. The complexity of the Yemeni crisis necessitates consideration of our views if a viable solution is the goal. Genuine participation of women in official capacities in the negotiations is key part of the answer. This matter cannot be left to the parties to the conflict to decide how and when it is done, if ever.
“The Southern Transitional Council is committed to engaging with Southern women political and civil society leaders. Women play an important role within the STC’s Leadership Council, and in leading various committees on the ground. In any future negotiations in which the STC participates, Southern women must likewise be empowered to play their part. We support and regularly consult with Southern women-led civil society organisations across the South and diaspora, and we urge for international donors to do the same.”