Our partner Amal Basha represents the Sisters’ Arab Forum for Human Rights in the Yemeni peace consultation in Geneva. She participates in the Peace Support Committee. There she focuses on the issue of prisoners of war, which is one of three subjects that will be discussed during the consultations. At the same time, negotiations are taking place in the UN Human Rights Council, where Amal will also participate as an observer.
The UN Expert Group on Yemen, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in September 2017, published a report last week of human rights violations committed by the parties involved in the war. The two conferences will discuss the report.
It is of utmost importance that women are included in peace talks at all levels. Without women’s active participation, conflicts are more likely to arise and continue for a longer time. If women do not participate, crimes against human rights are more likely to continue and the root causes of the war are more likely to prevail.
The war in Yemen is worrying and it is called by the UN as the worst ongoing humanitarian disaster in the world right now. In Yemen, only one port is open for the deliverance of humanitarian aid and if it is closed of the situation becomes even more critical. Many basic resources are threatened such as water, food and sanitation, which affects women primarily. It is therefore important to listen to women’s and girls’ experiences of the war and let them participate in discussions and in designing a strategy for peace.
We at Operation 1325 support Amal Basha in her important efforts in Geneva. Amal has previously participated in our project Mediation Lab in 2016 and at Operation 1325’s conferences in January and May this year at the Swedish Institute in Alexandria, focusing on the situation in Yemen and mediation.