The Human Cost of Violent Extremism in Yemen

In Policy Paper N°8, Yemen’s former Minister of Information Nadia
Al-Sakkaf discusses the human cost of war and violent extremism in Yemen
amidst the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis. She sheds light on
the dire economic and political situations in the country, particularly
as they pertain to women’s rights, or lack thereof. With nearly ten
years since the Houthis took control and war has ravaged on, women bear
the brunt of the consequences, from a lack of economic opportunities and
freedom of movement to an increase in gender-based violence. To move the
needle and ensure sustainable peace in the region, Al-Sakkaf urges the
international community to invest in the economic empowerment of women
and outlines concrete policy recommendations that should be considered
for positive, lasting change to occur.

The ongoing conflict, combined with a rise of extremist groupings, has
led to a significant deterioration in Yemen’s economic and social
conditions. This has curtailed Yemeni women’s basic civil rights and
hindered their ability to contribute economically. Similarly, the
deterioration in Yemen’s economic and social conditions is a common
factor motivating young men as well as some women to join armed militias
on all fronts. Even as political discussions between rivals take place
at the highest levels, it is important to note that the absence of war
does not necessarily mean peace. This necessitates a deeper
understanding of the extent to which violent extremism is prevalent in
the Yemeni society, and how it will become an obstacle to achieving true
and sustainable peace, and the prosperity of Yemeni men and women
further down the line.

History has shown that when extremist groups around the world rise to
power, women’s rights and their contribution to public life are
significantly reduced. Examples include the Taliban in Afghanistan, the
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Iran, Boko Haram in
northern Nigeria, and now the Houthis in Yemen.


Posted in Allgemein