Statement by The Yemeni Women "Group of Nine" Network
Under the Yemeni women “Group of Nine” Network, we work in the field of security and peace, and monitor with great interest the ceasefire appeals in Yemen called for by the UN Special Envoy, Mr. Martin Griffiths, coincided with a statement made by UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres. In our working group, we value the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and aim to facilitate the immediate ceasefire among all parties of the conflict in Yemen, in light of the new COVID-19 pandemic.
We realize that this pandemic imposes on the international community added responsibilities, mainly to make every possible effort to put an end to all conflicts and struggles in the world, and Yemen is one of the countries that have been suffering from the effects of violence and war. We are certain that the continuation of this conflict in the light of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic will only bring more disasters and tragedies that will affect all segments of society.
Those who are most affected by the war – including survivors, displaced women, female victims of domestic violence, the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as detainees –will be the most affected by this pandemic, especially with the erosion of the health system in Yemen coupled with the deterioration of basic services, including those related to sanitation, and the scarcity of clean drinking water, which had led to an increase in mortality rates in the country due to diseases and epidemics that swept the country due to the ongoing war, now in its sixth year, leading to a deterioration in economic and security conditions in many Yemeni regions. An outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic in Yemen in the light of these conditions would certainly exacerbate the situation and increase the suffering of the country’s population.
As individual women and as representatives of civil society, political organizations and networks, we today face a tremendous test that requires our vigilance and the mobilization of our efforts in order to be able to deal with the challenges facing the Yemeni society as a whole, and in particular women, who are the most affected by war and armed conflict. We realize that our human, social and moral responsibilities multiply in the face of these challenges and it is incumbent upon us to join forces with all local and international women’s groups, as well as with government agencies, civil society organizations and the international community which must support and uphold our efforts to work together as one integrated unit to prevent the spread of this epidemic which might cost many lives and increase destruction.
We in the "Group of Nine" Network also welcome the recently announced truce, and call on the Yemeni parties to the conflict not to miss the opportunity to achieve peace in Yemen by ending the state of war and to move towards comprehensive peace negotiations to spare Yemeni blood. We also call upon these parties to realize threats posed by this pandemic, and we ask them to enter into a comprehensive peace process that also guarantees the participation of women.
The Yemeni women's "Group of the Nine" Network
-The Yemeni Women’s Pact for Peace and Security/Tawafuq
-Women’s Solidarity Network
-The Yemeni Women’s Summit
- Women for Yemen Network
- Women’s Peace Voices
- Young Leadership Development Foundation
- Coalition of Peace Partners
- Ma'rib Girls Foundation
- Southern Women for Peace
Photo courtesy: Pulitzer-award winner Maad Alzekri