Long-term commitment to capacity-building for Yemeni women journalists, women’s participation in peacebuilding

Long-term commitment to capacity-building for Yemeni women journalists, women’s participation in peacebuilding

At the opening of YAMANIYAT project launching webinar more than 100 journalists from various Yemeni governorates attended through “Zoom” application.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Dr. Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak commended the efforts of the Canal France International (CFI) and the Studies and Economic Media Center in developing the capacities of Yemeni journalists, particularly t raising awareness on gender-based violence and promoting women’s participation in peacebuilding.

The Minister also affirmed that: “Nine years have passed since the war starter and led it to grave violations against women in Yemen.

Ben Mubarak stated that the Presidential Leadership Council, chaired by His H.E Dr. Rashad Alimi, was keen to protect women and support their participation in decision-making. This was demonstrated by the appointment of the first woman to the Supreme Judicial Council and eight female judges to the Supreme Court, as an important achievement for Yemeni women. He also reaffirmed the Government’s firm commitment to supporting women and increasing their participation in peacebuilding, development, and economic recovery, as stipulated in the outcomes of the national dialogue.

The outcomes of women’s participation contained in the National Dialogue Conference were an important gain and reflected the struggles of the national movement and the efforts of women since the establishment of the modern Yemeni State. “We look forward to the broad participation of women in peacebuilding during the next phase, and we affirm our readiness to provide all support to Yemeni women journalists and civil society organizations in order to enhance women’s capacities, and support their access to decision-making positions and active participation in peacebuilding.”

On the other hand, Mr. Thierry Valat, Chairman and chief Executive Officer of the French media development agency (Canal France International), stressed the commitment to sustained support for efforts to develop the capacity and empowerment of Yemeni women journalists in the media as a priority for the agency, noting that the current strategy aims to support countries in crises like Yemen.

Also, he commended the results of Makanati project as one of the agency’s most important projects during the previous three years. Which contributed to building the capacity of the media on the concepts of equality between men and women and women’s rights, noting that women were the first victims of war, the agency was committed to continuing its work and building on the results achieved in promoting women’s participation in the peace process within the project “Yamaniyat”, which included capacity-building, content production and awareness-raising.

The Chairman of the Studies of Economic and Media Centre, Mustafa Nasr, stressed the importance of the project “Yamaniyat”, in order to increase the participation of Yemeni women in peacebuilding and women’s access to decision-making positions. He also mentioned the negative impact of the war on women who suffer from displacement and marginalization in decision-making positions, having played a decisive role in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution and through their active participation in the national dialogue.

Also, Mr. Nasr explained that over the past two years Makanati project team at the Studies and Economic Media Center in partnership with Canal France International has trained 150 journalists from Aden, Taiz, Hadramout, Sana’a and Hodeida governorates who produced more than 140 written, audiovisual press materials that have influenced the content related to women’s challenges.

At the launching webinar in which many Yemeni government officials, Canal France International, representatives of civil society organizations and media institutions participated, the French Ambassador to Yemen, Catherine Corm Kammoun, reaffirmed France’s and Canal France International long-standing commitment to support women’s active participation in the public sphere. She said: “Today Yemeni women are an additional sign of support for the impartial media in Aden, Taiz, Hadramawt and Sana’a through the voice of women.”

She stressed the importance of the role of information and people’s right to accurate information, which also reflected the country’s wealth, plurality, diversity, and that we should all unite for a common goal to develop skills and promote an approach aimed at increasing the media audience supportive of women’s participation in public life and peacebuilding efforts. Also, she welcomed the decision of the Chairman of the Leadership Council to appoint eight female judges to the Supreme Court, considering it a strong gesture and noting the Government’s affirmation of its interest in freedom of expression both on the street and on social media, and citing several Yemeni female pioneers whose struggle has been recognized globally “Tawkol Karman, Olfat Aldobai Eman Homaid, Mona Loqman, Linda Al-Abahi and many others.”

On the other hand, Yemeni Ambassador to France Dr. Riyadh Yaseen noted the need to draw inspiration from the pioneering experience of Yemeni women’s participation in the media, which dates to Aden city, where the media Safiya Lagman was the first radio voice on the Arabian island at the beginning of the last century.

He stressed the importance of women’s complementary role in social life, highlighting the importance of working for stability in Yemen. Hé added that to ensure a successful partnership between men and women, it is essential to focus not on specific areas and that they were partners in all aspects of life.

The project manager at the Canal France International (CFI), Sarah Filali, reviewed the rationale for the continuation of the current project, which is the continuity of the outputs of the Makanati project implemented CFI in Yemen, as well as the results of a study conducted to identify the priorities to support of Yemeni women.

She presented the components of the project and reminded the global objective which is enhancing Yemeni women’s participation in building the peace process in Yemen, consisting of four main components and targeting around 80 journalists in the governorates “Aden, Sana’a, Taiz, Hadramawt, Marib and Hodeida”; She mentioned that the project will promote cooperation between civil society organizations that support the participation of women and independent media to enhance the role of Yemeni women in peacebuilding and build the capacity of Yemeni women journalists on the coverage of events related to peace in Yémen as well as on peace journalism and conflict resolution journalism and social cohesion, the production of media content on conflict resolution and peacebuilding by independent media, and the dissemination of content via Hodaj platform.

Before the discussion was opened for the interventions of Yemeni journalists, a short documentary produced by the Studies and Economic Media Center on the outputs of Makanati project was presented for the two phases (2020-2022). The objective of Makanati project was to empower women journalists in Yemen by raising public awareness of the importance of women’s rights and gender equality in the Yemeni media, building capacity and training and enhancing media content covering challenges facing women and issues of women’s rights and gender equality.

The webinar discussion featured several interventions about the importance of continuing to support such projects to enhance Yemeni women’s participation in peacebuilding and the importance of strengthening cooperation between media institutions, journalists and civil society organizations for peace in Yemen.

Also, participants expressed great enthusiasm for engaging in the project, stressing the importance of expanding the programme’s work to more governorates and reaching urban and rural areas.

The launching of the Yemeni project is an extension of the outputs of Makanati project, which was implemented two years ago by the Studies and Economic Media Center in partnership with the French Media Development Agency and funded by the French ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Studies & Economic Media Center is a non-profit civil society organization working for rehabilitation and awareness of economic issues, enhancing transparency and citizen participation in decision-making, creating professional media, empowering youth and women economically and promoting their role in building peace.