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EU-CMI Joint statement
Cairo meeting – 9-11 April 2019
Strengthening women's participation in the Yemen peace process and beyond
Since the 2011 uprising, Yemeni women increasingly gained a legitimate voice in political, economic and social discussions, and have demonstrated an important role in bridging divides and acting as agents of change in a country affected by four years of war. This has however not translated into meaningful inclusion of women in the peace process or in political decision-making processes. Sustainable peace in Yemen will not be achieved if Yemeni women from across the country are not included in political negotiations and decision-making processes at all levels of society.
The European Union, CMI and DeepRoot organized a Yemeni women Conference in Cairo from 9 to 11 April to discuss and develop key recommendations for Yemenis and the international community on how to ensure women’s inclusion and meaningful participation in the peace process and in broader decision-making processes. The workshop brought together 29 female political and civil society representatives from inside and outside Yemen, and also included experience sharing among women from Libya, Syria and Kosovo. It provided inputs to the Office of the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary General to Yemen (OSESGY) on women’s views as well as suggestions for issues in the political framework and the transitional framework. Both OSESGY and UN Women attended the meeting. The event built upon and followed up to previous engagements of the EU with Yemeni women, notably the High Level Dialogue between Yemeni and Syrian women held in Brussels in December 2018 under the auspices of the EU HRVP Federica Mogherini, as well as the 'Women at the Frontlines' event at the margins of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York on 12 March 2019.
The workshop concluded with a number of concrete and actionable recommendations addressed by Yemeni women from the north and south of the country, addressing how to improve and support the various mechanisms of inclusion in Yemen, how to strengthen women’s contribution to peace and dialogue initiatives at the local level, in decision-making processes at governorate level, in political party structures and in the constitutional amendment and electoral processes. In addition, other issues related to the political framework and the transitional period were addressed.
This project is part of the EU-funded project "Supporting Inclusive Peacemaking Efforts and Political Transition in Yemen" and the initiative also aims to support a broader effort by the UN Secretary-General on strengthening the participation of Yemeni women in the peace negotiations. In line with the UN Special Envoy's goals, the European Union together with CMI and DeepRoot have set women's right as one of the key priorities, standing with Yemeni women and aiming at empowering them to shape their own future.