Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Real Meaning of Struggle for %75 of Rural Women in Yemen

By Ms. Amal al-Basha, Yemeni Human Rights activist
Translated by Afrah Nasser

Do you know that everyday in Yemen, there are 8 women dying because of early marriage, lack of health services, lack of paved roads and adequate transportation, and lack of water suitable for human use?

Do you know that these women's daily work that includes collecting firewood, bringing water, grazing and helping men in fields and taking care of household work; all of that is unpaid work for them? It could have been a paid work at least as a symbol of appreciation for their contribution in the National Gross, while house keeper workers get payed and their working status is registered at the Labor Ministry and their contribution is measured in the Annual National Gross.

Do you know that theses struggling women could get easily kicked out on the streets from their houses after years of their marriages, when they reach an old age and a deteriorating health condition that wouldn't even enable them to stand up on their feet and beg after getting divorced without having any minimum right other than having dowry money that was set for her many years ago and pension for 3 years; neglecting that she would need more money for her expenses for the rest of her life?

Do you know that till today there is no elderly care home to foster them; a place they can turn to when their children neglect them?

Do you know that there is no medical insurance or social security for these women when they are going through aging and disability?

Can anyone ask himself/herself what his/her role in protecting these women? Can you help us in putting pressure on the current or the coming parliament in amending the Personal Status Law to protect our daughters, sisters and mothers from degrading their integrity and saving them from treachery and cruelty?