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The Yemeni civil society organizations Basma Foundation and Yanabia Charity Foundation are new partner organizations to Operation 1325. Mohammed bin Abidoon, from Basma and Gamila Ahmen, from Yanabia, talk to us about the work to strengthen Yemeni women.

Together with our local partner organization All Girls Foundation, Basma and Yanabia are carrying out the project “Yemeni Women for Peace”. The project aims to strengthen the ability of Yemeni women to influence decision-makers for the inclusion of women in a possible national peace process. 
Mohammed, project coordinator at Basma, and Gamila, communicator at Yanabia, describe the women’s commitment and the project as successful. They can already see a change amongst the participant group. Many of the women are now actively working to be heard and further spread their knowledge. 
– We have seen a big difference among the project participants. The women have started sharing their ideas and even participating in workshops and talking to other civil society organizations. Before the project, they were mostly at home, but now they have set out to spread their newfound knowledge, Gamila says. 
Mohammed says that the project has helped to create new relationships and networks with other organizations in society with similar goals, which has helped women increase their reach in society. 
Capacity-strengthening sessions 
The capacity-strengthening sessions are deal with the meaning of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and how participants can influence its implementation. 
– The training helps to increase the participants’ ability to be heard in future peace talks in Yemen, as their capacity to bring their own case forward is strengthened, Mohammed says. 
Gamila sees the work for women’s rights as fundamental because women make up half of the population. 
– The project enables us to promote women’s rights, which can allow for an influence in Yemen’s peace process, Gamila says. 

Hope despite traditions that limit women 

Both Gamila and Mohammed talk about traditions that limit women’s participation. They say they have had to convince individuals in the local community to let some of the women participate in the activities. But they believe that an increased awareness and understanding of women’s rights can contribute to change. 

Mohammed and Gamila say they look forward to the continued work of the project. They hope that more Yemeni women will learn about their rights and opportunities to influence for peace in Yemen. 

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