Category Archives: Gender

New Report on Poverty and Gender in Yemen


Poverty, human capital and gender: a comparative study of Yemen and Egypt

[There is a new report by Eldis, an NGO co-ordinated from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in Brighton, United Kingdom, about poverty and gender in Yemen and Egypt.  For a pdf of the report, click here. Here is the summary from the website.]

The objective of this study is to examine the impacts of poverty on children’s health status and educational attainment in Yemen and Egypt. The hypothesis is children from poor families, particularly girls have lower health status, lower educational attainment, and are most likely to engage in child labour. We will test for wealth and gender inequalities in educational attainment and health status of children.

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Marriage Customs in Yafi‘


The internet is a vast resource for learning about Yemen’s traditions and customs.  For those interested in marriage customs and songs in the southern tribal area of Yafi‘, there are excerpts posted from Dr. ‘Ali Salih al-Khulaqi’s book here.  I attach here Dr. Al-Khulaqi’s introduction, but go to the website for a major excerpt.

تقديم كتاب ( عادات وتقاليد الزواج وأغانيه في يافع) يرجع الاهتمام بدراسة عادات وتقاليد الزواج وغيرها من العادات الاجتماعية, للحرص على رصد ملامحها وتوثيق خصائصها وسماتها في مجتمعنا المتغير, خشية اندثارها نهائياً, خاصة وأنها تتلاشى تدريجياً أمام أعيننا وكثير منها قد اختفى بفعل المتغيرات الحضارية التي تجرف من طريقها مثل هذه العادات والتقاليد. ولا يمكن لكتاب واحد أن يشتمل على رصد وتدوين لكامل العادات والتقاليد والتعابير والأمثال التي سادت في منطقة يافع الغنية بموروثها الفلكلوري الغني, ولهذا رأيت أن أتناول موضوعات محددة بعينها من دوحة التراث الشعبي بغية تعميم الفائدة وتدوين أكبر قدر مما أمكن جمعه من صنوف وألوان هذا التراث. وعلى هذا الطريق بدأت بجمع وشرح أمثال يافع في كتاب أسميته (الشائع من أمثال يافع) صدرت طبعته الأولى عن دار جامعة عدن عام 2000م Continue reading Marriage Customs in Yafi‘

Najwa Adra on Yemen

AIYS member and fellow, Najwa Adra, now a Visiting Scholar at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University, has been active speaking about her research and consulting experience in Yemen over the past academic year. Dr. Adra first arrived in Yemen in 1978 to conduct ethnographic research in the highland valley of al-Ahjur.  She has returned many times since then on projects for the Population Council, FAO, UNICEF, USAID and the World Bank.


• 2013 – 2014 Women and Peacebuilding in Yemen: Challenges and Opportunities. Policy Brief, Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF). Available online:  Republished in Open Democracy, January 21, 2014

Seminars, Professional Papers and Lectures:

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Gender Issues in the New Yemen

[The following commentary by Samira Ali BinDaair was first published on Tabsir on April 15 and reposted in the Yemen Times on April 22.]

When it comes to women and gender in Yemen, I see the discussions inevitably alternating between what is happening in politics and then back again to the same old arguments about women’s rights. I think the problem is that we always look at women’s issues from a very narrow angle lens even though we profess to uphold women’s rights, whatever those are and by whosoever’s definition. After working for the past 20 years in development programmes that spanned different agendas and a variety of target groups and where gender analysis always featured largely, I can safely say that this whole concept of gender mainstreaming was introduced to Yemen without being communicated through more cultural-sensitive strategies. The result has been considerable confusion. Because it was introduced by Western agencies, it was sometimes greatly misunderstood, misimplemented and misused by people with vested interests, just as some men with vested interests have misinterpreted the role of women in Islam. Continue reading Gender Issues in the New Yemen