Recommendations on women’s inclusion in the Yemeni peace process and beyond

Recommendations on women’s inclusion in the Yemeni peace process and beyond

April 11, 2019

Cairo

1) Increasing women’s meaningful participation in the peace process

 To the conflict parties:

  • Commit to continue the peace talks and pressure all involved factions and parties to end the war, expedite the implementation of the Stockholm agreement, lift the siege, and to open crossings and Sana'a Airport.
  • Adhere to the NDC outcomes, including women’ representation in the negotiations, in the transitional period and in broader political decision-making processes.

To Yemeni women’s groups and networks:

  • Coordinate and seek common ground for concrete actions, at both national and international level, for stopping the war and achieving sustainable peace in Yemen.
  • Engage in dialogue with the conflict parties to identify areas of mutual interest and possible resolutions to the conflict.
  • Develop a roadmap to strengthen the various roles women can play to build peace at different levels; and consolidate networks for its implementation.
  • Advocate for 30 percent representation of women in all mediation and peacebuilding efforts, in line with the NDC outcomes.
  • Develop a shared strategy to advance the above, accompanied by an advocacy plan including both traditional and innovative advocacy methods, and by strengthening of alliances and coalitions between women mediators and peacebuilding networks.
  • Establish a coordination committee for women’s peacebuilding networks and organizations, including a working group to develop an advocacy plan.
  • Write joint letters to the UN Special Envoy to encourage 50 percent representation of women in experts’ committees and advisory bodies.
  • Compile a database of women with expertise in political, security and military issues who can provide technical support in peace and stability efforts.
  • Develop a detailed directory of all Yemeni women organizations and companies working in peacemaking, in Yemen home and abroad.

To the UN Special Envoy:

  • Put pressure on the conflict parties to ensure at least 30% women’s representation in their delegations to the negotiations or related consultations; consistent with the NDC outcomes.
  • Ensure 50 percent representation of women in all bodies formed by the UN Special Envoy, such as Advisory Bodies and Technical Committees, and consider creating a third table for women in the peace negotiations.
  • Commit to allocate 15 percent of all peacebuilding funds to support the work of women’s groups and organizations in the peace process.

To the International Community:

  • Put pressure on both sides of the conflict to include women in all committees emanating from the political agreement; including preparatory committees, ceasefire monitoring committees, disarmament committees, committees for the opening of roads and crossings.
  • Support strategies and mechanisms for women to foster political partnerships with key influential decision-makers.
  • Provide financial and technical support for the development and implementation of a training plan to increase the capacity of women in mediation, negotiation and peacebuilding.
  • Put pressure on both parties to the conflict to abide by the NDC outcomes with regard to the women representation of at least 30 percent. (NB: It was suggested that this should include 50 percent of southerners, there was however no consensus on this in the group).
  • Support the development and implementation of a National Action Plan for UNSCR 1325 Women, Peace and Security for Yemen.

2) Strengthening women’s inclusion and ensuring a gender-sensitive peace agreement

To the conflict parties:

  • Abide by all relevant conventions ratified by Yemen, such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), particularly its General Recommendation no. 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict and postconflict situations; and Goals 5 and 16 of the 2030 Development Agenda.
  • Adhere to the NDC outcomes, the GCC agreement and the UNSCR 2216.
  • Endorse the role of the Women’s Technical Advisory Group and women’s inclusion in the peace process to ensure a more sustainable peace agreement.

To Yemeni women’s groups and networks:

  • Provide suggested language for a gender perspective in the final peace agreement, and advocate for its incorporation.
  • Provide assistance to the Women’s Technical Advisory Group, and to any technical subcommittees established, as needed.
  • Develop joint proposals to the international community, UN and conflict parties on gender-sensitive language and solutions to the conflict, which can be incorporated in the negotiations and eventual peace agreement.

To the UN Special Envoy:

  • Ensure gender mainstreaming of the eventual peace agreement, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1325; and put pressure on the parties to abide by relevant international conventions.
  • Support the Women’s Technical Advisory Group to become more inclusive and representative, either through expanded or rotational membership. This will also allow the Women’s Technical Advisory Group to become a more effective support mechanism for the Special Envoy. Create technical sub-committees to support the Women’s Technical Advisory Group on issues raised in the negotiations.

To the International Community:

  • Put pressure on the conflict parties to work towards a gender-sensitive peace agreement; and to abide by international commitments including but not limited to CEDAW, UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions.
  • Collaborate with OSESGY to provide further clarity among Yemeni citizens on the role and mandate of the Women’s Technical Advisory Group, and provide support to the Group to carry out its roles and responsibilities.

3) Enhancing women’s contribution to peace and dialogue initiatives at the local level

To Yemeni women’s groups and network:

  • Unite efforts and voices to stop the war. Empower and train women to act as mediators between conflict parties.
  • Set up local-level committees to document the impacts and damages of war and the reconstruction needs; and integrate women in development and reconstruction programs at the local level.
  • Organize dialogues with local communities and step up local conflict resolution efforts.

To the International Community:

  • Channel financial and technical support to the OSESGY and track II partners to strengthen the peace process and empowerment of Yemeni women therein.
  • Support capacity-building of women in conflict resolution and mediation, and empower their role in local mediation efforts.

4) Increasing women’s political participation and access to decision-making positions at all levels

To National Decision-makers:

  • Encourage women’s participation in local councils, and work for the implementation of the NDC outcomes including the 30 percent quota system.
  • Revive and strengthen the role of the Supreme Council for Women and the Women National Committee in all governorates to advance women’s empowerment and safeguarding women’s fundamental human rights, and to support the work of women’s non-governmental initiatives, groups and organizations.
  • Establish a coordination mechanism between the branches of the Women National Committee across governorates.
  • Promote equal rights and enforce compulsory education for women and men.
  • Grant confidence and support women to access decision-making positions.

To Yemeni women’s groups and networks:

  • Engage with, and garner support from, tribal elders, religious clerics and political leaders towards women’s education and inclusion at all levels of government.
  • Work collectively to build appropriate capacities for ensuring women’s equal access to decision-making positions in the state apparatus.
  • Promote local initiatives and organize dialogues between women and political party leaders.
  • Form monitoring groups, comprising representatives of political parties, initiatives, and organizations, to map and monitor the extent to which political parties are committed to women’s representation in their structures.
  • Collaborate with the National Women Commission; and coordinate with the Ministry for the Implementation of the NDC Outcomes to raise awareness of decision-makers on NDC outcomes.

To the UN Special Envoy:

  • In any agreement emanating from the peace process, encourage the 30 percent quota system in political parties to ensure that women’s representation reaches the level set out in national and international commitments.
  • Ensure constant reference to the UNSC Resolution 1325 in all discussions, and put pressure on parties to the conflict and their supporters to implement international resolutions on women's political participation.

To the International Community:

  • Provide financial and technical support to awareness-raising and capacity-building programs to increase women’s ability to contribute constructively through political party structures, including but not limited to leadership skills, political campaigning, speech writing and alike.
  • Encourage decision makers in government and local authorities to apply a quota system of at least 30% for women’s representation.
  • Provide financial and technical support to the reactivation and strengthening of the Supreme Council for Women and the Women’s National Committee, their activities and programs.
  • Support the development of programs that promote women’s education and community awareness on the importance of girls’ education.