Yemen adopted its first National Action Plan (NAP) in December 2019 for the period 2020-2022. The NAP was developed by a number of government ministries, with the involvement of civil society and UN agencies in developing, drafting, and reviewing the NAP. This consultative process included an initial three-day workshop to formulate the goals and framework of the NAP. The NAP’s four overarching objectives, which are grouped under participation, prevention, protection, and relief and recovery, reflect the pillars of UNSCR 1325. The NAP is contextualized by how the war in Yemen has decimated the economy, led to widespread displacement and an increase in poverty, and created a dire humanitarian situation, which affects civilians, including women and girls. The document describes the differential impacts of the conflict on women and girls and their human rights, including on issues such as sexual and gender-based violence, child marriage, education, health, and the right to live in dignity, safety, and stability as well as contextualizing these issues within the framework of international human rights and humanitarian law.
The most recent history of armed conflict in Yemen’s history is the country’s civil war, which has been ongoing since 2014. The current situation in Yemen has been described as the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” An estimated 24 million people (80% of the population) rely on humanitarian assistance to survive, over 100,000 people have been killed over five years of war, and 4 million people have been displaced. Conflict parties have engaged in arbitrary detention, including of human rights activists and journalists, enforced disappearance, and torture, including sexual violence. All parties to the conflict have violated international humanitarian law, including bombing civilian infrastructure and residential areas. Restrictions and delays on humanitarian access have inhibited the ability for people to access the food and medical assistance they need.
The war in Yemen is being fueled by the involvement of international actors and the influx of arms from abroad. WILPF and partner research has identified that arms transfers from countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, and Germany have been linked to human rights abuses in Yemen and have contributed to a rise in gender-based violence.
In addition to being in the forefront of the 2011 uprisings in Yemen, women have played a key role throughout the war through delivering humanitarian response as well as conducting mediation and peacebuilding efforts.