Iftar4Peace Reaffirms Importance of Global Ceasefire Call in Yemen

Iftar4Peace Reaffirms Importance of Global Ceasefire Call in Yemen

Iftar4Peace Reaffirms Importance of Global Ceasefire Call in Yemen


Women4Yemen, Yemen



The holy month of Ramadan has arrived, and Yemen is still facing a bloody war and ongoing fighting, amid fears of an outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Yemen. On April 10, Yemen’s first case of the disease was confirmed, amid concerns about the ability of the country’s health infrastructure to manage such a crisis. 

With that, in the spirit of the holy month, we call on all the conflict parties to respond to the UN-brokered global ceasefire and to release all detainees and abductees, including journalists and women. 


Participants of Iftar4Peace launched by Women4Yemen

What else you can do?

*Read our latest statement about the UN-brokered global ceasefire

*You can also view Our statement along with other eight Yemeni Women Groups, calling for a ceasefire. 

Sign our petition: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/community_petitions/all_parties_to_the_conflict_in_yemen_covid19_end_conflict_in_yemen_now/?caakNdb&utm_source=sharetools&utm_medium=copy&utm_campaign=petition-1004711-covid19_end_conflict_in_yemen_now&utm_term=aakNdb%2Ben

*Sign the global petition to support the call for ceasefire:  https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/global_ceasefire_loc/


*You can also visit our website and visit our social media at Facebook and Twitter.

Yemeni Women “Group of Nine” network for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325

Yemeni Women “Group of Nine” network for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325

Yemeni Women “Group of Nine” network for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 


Women4Yemen, Yemen



Our fair demand is to stop the war and armed conflicts (1)

The international community today, led by the UN Security Council and its humanitarian and human rights organizations are focused on peace initiatives and the calls for ceasefire to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

These organizations have sent statements, messages and calls to all countries around the world to take precautionary measures to deal with the global and transboundary outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the lives of everyone without any exceptions. Countries affected have already taken immediate and urgent actions to stop the death tolls that exceeded all expectations. Developed countries were the first to take measures to counter the pandemic with more resolute measures such as the closure of land, air and sea border-crossing points with their neighbors and countries where the epidemic has spread rapidly.

These countries have directed all efforts to boost their healthcare systems that were not properly prepared to handle such a crisis, set up quarantines, manufactured ventilators and called for factories to produce more of the needed medical equipment, face masks and sterilizers, in addition to imposing complete and partial lockdown.

Some countries took more serious measures to counter the pandemic and too measures to start developing effective vaccines to stop the spread of the COVID-19, although such attempts are still in their early stages but are considered effective measures. These were accompanied by imposing stay-at-home and social distancing procedures to name a few.

They have also offered government funding to the public and private sectors to prevent and stop their economic deterioration as a result of keeping their workforce and staff at home; part of the preventive measures aimed to ensure public health and safety.

Many private sector institutions implemented work-from-home scheme for their employees in order to maintain ongoing livelihood for the peoples of these countries and to enable them to meet the minimum living requirements and so as not to expose them to further tragic situations. Companies continued to pay salaries and remuneration out of their keenness to prevent tragedies that these countries were not prepared for.

In our region, Arab countries have started taking precautionary steps and preventive measures that varied depending on the conditions of each state and the manner in which the political leaders and rulers viewed this pandemic.

In our country, some measures were taken but in fact they were not up to the level of danger that threatens all Yemenis, as such measures are inadequate.

Leaders of all conflicting parties must seek more effective measures to this confront this pandemic and to address its effects, which are not excluded to the health field as they include economic, social and psychological effects, and to reduce their impact on our people all over the country. These leaders need to rethink these measures specially with the continuation of  war and armed conflict.

This pandemic makes it imperative for those leaders to stand up to their humanitarian and national responsibilities in response to the international calls by the United Nations in specific and its Special Envoy for Yemen Mr. Martin Griffiths. These repeated calls, statements and messages demand an immediate ceasefire and the release of all detainees as a prelude to stopping the war and violence, engage in constructive dialogues to reach a comprehensive political settlement and stop the bloodshed in Yemen. It is imperative to resort to reason and work on remedying the economic conditions that have worsened due to the prolonged war and armed conflicts that herald a human catastrophe if the pandemic spreads to Yemen. Our health system is fragile and is not equipped to counter this pandemic along with the collapse of other basic services, including those related to sanitation and the scarcity of clean drinking water, taking into consideration the significant and essential role of both in the prevention of the pandemic. A recent study by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) indicated that 76 million in the Arab World lack access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities and services especially in communities that are witnessing large displacements because of wars and violence, and these, of course, include Yemen.

This pandemic carries challenges that Arab governments need to combat. These challenges are not limited to health risks but to huge socio-economic effects if the virus spreads further in our region. The leaders need to recognize and acknowledge their responsibilities by accepting the international calls for ceasefire, returning to the negotiation table and engaging in open-minded discussions.

The pandemic is far riskier than what they assume, as the repercussions of its spread in our country will relentlessly destroy more Yemeni lives, demolish all what has been built and prevent the revival of the economy which is already deteriorating from the war and armed conflicts.

Citizens will then be exposed to death, famine and destitution, and the international community will not be able to provide any urgent humanitarian and medical relief, as it will not be able to provide the minimum requirements, and in best case scenarios, the required will be reduced as the supporting countries and international organizations will be busy reprioritizing their support and means to provide it due to many considerations.


For all these reasons, we in the "Group of Nine" Network support peace efforts and initiatives and call on our brothers and leaders in the Yemeni warring parties to reconsider their positions, spare Yemeni blood and asses the new reality of the COVID-19, prepare for it and realize that wars and armed conflicts have imposed substantial burden on the Yemeni citizen, and they no longer can combat this pandemic which will double the humanitarian tragedy. We are aware that the circumstances are better today with the parties sensing their responsibilities not only for ceasefire, but to stop the war and armed conflicts and enter a comprehensive peace settlement that leads to an all-inclusive and sustainable peace process reaching peace agreements that fulfil the rights and interests of all parties.


The Yemeni women's "Group of the Nine" Network for the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security:

  • The Yemeni Women’s Pact for Peace and Security/Tawafuq
  • The Yemeni Women’s Summit
  • Women’s Peace Voices
  • Coalition of Peace Partners
  • Southern Women for Peace
  • Women’s Solidarity Network
  • Women for Yemen Network
  • Young Leadership Development Foundation
  • Ma'rib Girls Foundation - Southern Women for Peace


Statement by The Yemeni Women "Group of Nine" Network

Statement by The Yemeni Women "Group of Nine" Network

Statement by The Yemeni Women "Group of Nine" Network


Women4Yemen, Yemen



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


Bombing Women’s Prison Renews the Suffering of Taiz

Bombing Women’s Prison Renews the Suffering of Taiz

Bombing Women’s Prison Renews the Suffering of Taiz


Women4Yemen, Yemen


Women for Yemen Network condemns the bombing of the central prison in Taiz governorate on Sunday 5 April 2020, which resulted in the killing of six women and a child, and the wounding of others, according to human rights sources,  eyewitnesses, and the investigative report by the Yemeni Archive. The bombing was carried out by the Ansar Allah group, "the Houthis”, who continue to target civilians and civilian facilities in the city, the last of which was a snipe attack on two children, one of whom died and the other was wounded. The sources said that the victims of the bombing were those who had been released under the direction of the Attorney General of the legitimate authorities in Yemen.

The Network regrets that this targeted attack happened in conjunction with the international call to stop the war in order to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. An international campaign has been launched to demand the release of detainees in prisons by all parties, with the participation of many international and local organizations, including the Women for Yemen Network.

The Network also expresses its concern about the Houthi group continuing their military escalation and expansion in both the Ma'rib and Al-Jawf Governorate, as well as their external escalation. The Network confirms that such escalatory actions constitute a threat to the international call for a ceasefire, as we mentioned in our last statement.

The Network urges the armed Houthi group to adhere to its acceptance of the UN Special Envoy to Yemen's call for ceasefire, stressing the necessity of dismantling the siege on Taiz and opening the main roads and corridors quickly so that the coronavirus can be confronted safely. Additionally, the Network recommends to the international community that priority should be given to implement the Statement of Understanding on Taiz and the establishment of a joint committee according to the Stockholm Agreement. The Network calls for the establishment of a group that works to monitor peace and assess the efforts made in the peace process, reporting any violations by any party to the conflict and putting pressure on the Houthi group to stop internal and external military escalation, including the indiscriminate shelling of neighborhoods and civil installations, the planting of land mines and the detention of journalists, activists and women.

Global Appeal for Ceasefire Requires Commitment and Accountability in Yemen

Global Appeal for Ceasefire Requires Commitment and Accountability in Yemen

Global Appeal for Ceasefire Requires Commitment and Accountability in Yemen


Women4Yemen, Yemen



The recent outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic poses a global threat that requires global solidarity and a focus on joint efforts to face this unprecedented challenge. Yemen is not an exception, but after experiencing more than five years of war, the country is extremely unprepared to face the pandemic. As much as the coronavirus represents a global threat, it could also be an opportunity to start a new phase of peace.

We, in the Women4Yemen Network, welcome the call of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a global ceasefire to focus on “the true fight of our lives”. We also welcomed the initial positive responses by the Yemeni conflict parties: the Yemeni government, Ansar Allah movement (known as the Houthi group), and the Southern Transitional Council (STC), who all expressed their willingness to accept the UN-brokered calls. However, despite these statements, armed escalation continues to threaten the momentum:

  • Territorial expansion and continuation of domestic warfare: The Houthi group have continued their territorial expansion and broken their cease-fire declaration.
  • Missile attacks on Riyadh by the Houthi group.
  • Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia on Sanaa. A recent airstrike took place on March 30, following the attacks by the Houthis.

The Women4Yemen Network wishes to highlight the challenges to peace since the signing of the Stockholm Agreement, in order to draw upon new strategies and lessons learned:

  • Lack of fair peace monitoring mechanism:

While the UN Envoy to Yemen’s mandate is to lead mediation, there has to be strong monitoring of the peace efforts and the identification of any violation to the peace commitments by any actor.

  • Rewarding a culture of violence:

The exclusion of non-violent actors such as women, youth and other groups can send a message that using violence is the way to be heard.

  • Shrinkage of state presence against the rise of armed groups:

The state institutions are no longer functioning and there is an increasing dominance of non-state armed groups and new groups such as the Southern Transitional Council, supported by the UAE. The Yemeni government is under the control of Saudi Arabia. UN reports warn of the risk of undermining of Yemeni state presence due to the coalition led by the Saudis and Emirates.

  • Increased oppression of women peacebuilders and activists:

Various reports show that women peacebuilders and activists are facing unprecedented attack, particularly by the Houthi group. Women peacebuilders in Houthi-controlled areas face threats of their organizations being shut down as well as extreme restrictions around conducting meetings.

Territorial advance:

The Houthis have continued their strong territorial advance, even after signing the Stockholm Agreement. They moved towards Hajour and Dali. Recently the Houthi group seized Al Jawf after fierce local fights, causing massive displacement. They also started a new attack against Ma’rib, despite their public announcement of ceasefire.

Risk of losing pockets of stability:

Governorates like Marib and Jawf are considered pockets of stability, hosting a huge number of displaced people from other conflict-affected areas. However, the recent attacks threaten these pockets and it is already causing a humanitarian crisis and further displacement. Yemen has some of the highest rates of internal displacement in the world.

Regional negative interference:

Regional countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Iran, continue their negative interference by supporting proxy armed groups and political movements.

Arms sales:

Countries like the US, Canada, France, Germany and the UK continue to sell weapons to the Arab led coalition led by Saudi Arabia, despite the human rights violations. This will have a negative impact on the peace process in Yemen.

Attacks on health facilities:

Health infrastructure is hugely impacted and attacked by all parties to the conflict.

Control of aid:

Houthi authorities created an agency called NAMCHA (National Authority for Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response) that controls and dictates aid allocation. There have been reports of some UN agencies being complicit with Houthi militants and supporting their agenda. Houthis are aware of the funding cycle and they put pressure on the UN and other international agencies to respond to their agenda.

In addition to the above threats, the Women4Yemen Network has made a number of observations via its work and networks that should be highlighted and addressed:

1. Lack of pressure on non-state actors:

We observed that the international community does not seems to have the tools or mechanisms to question and pressure non-state actors like the Houthi armed group or the STC. This will impact lasting peace. This unbalanced approach will not limit the extra state armed activities and will promote a culture which rewards violence and where people tend to join non-state militants.

2. Lack of monitoring of peace agreement commitments/breaches:

During the various peace brokered initiatives, there has not been clear monitoring of the peace progress and commitments made by the negotiating parties.

3. Gulf conflict impacts negatively on the war in Yemen:

After the rivalry between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, the conflict has resulted in polarization and new alliances with these countries that are mostly not nationally driven and this has greatly affected social cohesion.

4. Business cycle of development/aid:

According to reports, the Houthis obstruct aid and force organizations to follow their conditions. Many international organizations find themselves obliged to request permissions and accept conditions forced on them by the Houthi group. This is observed to be closely linked to the inability to assert pressure on non-state actors like the Houthis. The impact goes beyond the cases of corruption found by some UN agencies, but there is poor reporting of the current conditions for fear of retaliation and shutdown. This situation is problematic and requires more engagement and new approaches from donors and implementing agencies.


Women4Yemen Network believes that there are some opportunities that could be built on to resume peace negotiations and reach peace.

1. Convening of the parliament in Sayuon:

The convening of Parliament in the city of Sayuon is a positive and strategic step towards strengthening the State of Yemen.

2. Building trust measures:

This approach is important to at least address some of the imminent issues concerning people and to mitigate the tension.

3. Prisoners swap:

Last February, a major step was made with the signing of an agreement to swap more than 1,400 detainees under the auspices of the United Nations.

4. Riyadh agreement

The Saudi-brokered agreement is an opportunity to address the power conflict in the south.

5. Release of the Bahai detainees

Houthi declared the release of the Bahai detainees, a religious minority in Yemen, and this should be followed by the release of all arbitrary detainees and other deescalating acts.

6. Release of detainees by the Yemeni government

The Yemeni government announced the release of more than 470 prisoners from detention facilities under the government’s control as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.


We believe that for the global ceasefire to be implemented on the ground, there should be commitment from all parties, including regional and international actors, to support the peace process in Yemen. Also, there should be more work towards accountability and peace monitoring to ensure more commitment in the future. Below are our recommendations:

1. For immediate action:
- Release of all prisoners by all conflict parties amid the threat of the coronavirus outbreak.
- Put pressure on the Houthi group to stop the domestic attacks including shelling, landmines, detaining journalists, activists and women.
- Prioritize the protection of women and women peacebuilders and support all peace activities in Yemen as per the UNSCR 1325.

2. Necessary conditions for a lasting and inclusive peace:
- All parties should work together to revive the political negotiations and women should be included, with at least 30 percent representation.
- Establishment of a peace monitoring group to assess the progress of peace efforts and flag any breaches by all conflict parties.
- Inclusion of peace stakeholders like women and youth.
- The peace fostered by the UN should exert more focus on the regional and international conflict actors, primarily Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iran. They should be clearly identified as part of the Yemen conflict, including the countries that sell weapons to conflict parties.
- Continuation of the trust building measures launched by the UN Envoy to Yemen.
- The UN and the international community should ensure less international and regional interference in Yemen in order for the domestic peace negotiations to succeed.
- The international community should protect and empower civil society and include this as one of the items of the peace negotiations.

3. Priorities for Humanitarian relief and recovery:
- The Houthi group should lift all the restrictions on civil society organizations.
- The international community should support the UN to resume its work in Yemen as the situation in the country cannot afford to lose support. According to UN agencies, the country is on the verge of a famine. The international community should put pressure on the Houthi group to stop interference in food aid, in particular, and in civil society, in general.
- The UN should consider relocating its headquarters away from the Houthi-controlled capital of Sana’a. This will improve partnership with civil society organizations and allow for accountability and monitoring needed for aid effectiveness.
- The UN should harness up-to-date technical measures to provide assistance which can ensure better accountability and monitoring. The aid should be directed more towards economic growth rather than relief support.


  1. Al-Thaibani, K. (2019). Agents for Change Women as Grassroots Peacebuilding in Yemen. Women4Yemen Network.
  2. Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen. (2019). Yemen: Collective failure, collective responsibility. OHCHR.
  3. HRW. (2019). Yemen: Riyadh Agreement Ignores Rights Abuses. Human Rights Watch.
  4. Joint Statement. (2020). Urgent Appeal To Release Prisoners and Detainees in Yemen.
  5. Kretschmer, B. N. (2019). BUILDING PEACE AND A PEACE-DRIVEN ECONOMY FOR YEMEN. Nobel Women Initiative.
  6. MICHAEL, M. (2019). Click to copy RELATED TOPICS AP Top News International News Middle East Sanaa Theft Yemen General News UN probes corruption in its own agencies in Yemen aid effort. AP.
  8. Panel of Experts on Yemen. (2018). Letter dated 26 January 2018 from the Panel of Experts on Yemen mandated by Security Council resolution 2342 (2017) addressed to the President of the Security Council. OHCHR.
  9. Panel of Experts on Yemen. (2020). Letter dated 27 January 2020 from the Panel of Experts on Yemen addressed to the President of the Security Council.
  10. Women4Yemen Network. (2019). Attacks On Aden: A Gateway To New Conflict Phase. Women4Yemen Network.
  11. Women4Yemen Network. (2019). Renewal and Strengthening of Group of Eminent Experts Mandate Would Be A Victory for Peace in Yemen. Women4Yemen Network.
  12. Women4Yemen Network. (2019). WFP's decision to halt aid is an indicator of a larger problem of crushed civil space, affecting the lives of millions of Yemenis and threatening opportunities for sustainable peace. Women4Yemen Network.
  13. Yemeni Archive. (2019). Medical Facilities Under Fire. Yemeni Archive.

Photo courtesy: Pulitzer-award winner Maad Alzekri


Sanaa, Yemen

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