Thursday, April 22, 2010

Close to her

She is a human rights activist, a professor of media studies, and the first female journalist in Yemen. She is Dr. Raufa Hassan, who is at the center of all women’s issues in the country.

Hassan’s life demonstrates a lifelong devotion to women’s issues, on both theoretical and practical levels. Much of her work has been concerned with creating equality between the genders in Yemen especially when it comes to her devotion to women issues. This importance comes from her wide interest and concern-theoretically and practically- with civil society organizations where a woman gets all her rights enabling her participate effectively in social activities propping its basics based on equal partnership in the life equation on pairs and individuals.

She finished her secondary school and traveled to Cairo, where she got her bachelor degree in media from the Journalism Department of Cairo University. She then went to the United States of America and got a master’s degree in 1984.
In 1991, she earned a PhD in communications from Paris and returned to Yemen to put her knowledge in use. In 1996, she founded the first Center of Women’s Studies in Yemen at the University of Sana’a, after she was initially expelled for her work on gender issues. Regarding the reason why she was expelled from Sana’a University, he said that she was the victim of ideological conflict. “She came with the notion of gender in a time when people doesn’t know what is it.” said Nabil al-Sofi, chief editor of newsyemen website and one of her former students.
She later founded her own Independent research and philanthropic center, called the Cultural Development Planning Foundation (CDPF). Her foundation is still active and she carries on work in a lot of projects involving culture, women’s issues, national unity, and others.

She is also working on good governance, her foundation engaged in partnership with the American University in Cairo to do social researches about Yemen, Immigration project and the last one is creating women movement in Yemen united with unified agenda.

-By Zaid Al-Alaya