Lessons In Yemeni Machiavellianism

by Sama'a al-hamdani

February 20, 2015 originally published on Fikra Forum 

Last September, a rebel militia known as the Houthis successfully captured large portions of Yemen’s north and its capital, Sana. A few months later, in January 2015, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi and his government resigned following clashes with the Houthis. By February 10, diplomatic missions in Sana’a had evacuated the country to protest the “illegitimate Houthi takeover.” Overnight, the Houthis became Yemen’s new rulers, but very little was known about them. 

The enigmatic Houthi movement transformed from a Zaydi revivalist group in the early 1990s, to a rebel movement in the mid-1990s, to an enemy warring against the Yemeni state in the early 2000s. Following the revolution in 2011, the Houthis secured 33 seats in the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), because they had significant local influence and were considered victims of the former regime. The Houthis were granted a specialized committee in the NDC solidifying them as an influential political player. However, as soon as the dialogue concluded, the Houthis lost faith in the internationally backed political transition. Since then, the Houthis – led by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi – have employed Machiavellian tactics to gain influence in Yemen, taking advantage of the dismal performance of Hadi’s National Unity Government to seize territory and power. 

In September 2014 Hadi lifted fuel subsidies, which angered much of the Yemeni population and provided an opening for the Houthis. Cleverly, the Houthis sided with the people against the government; thereafter, within six days, they seized the capital. Months later, on February 11, they mobilized mass protests to overshadow any activities by the opposition. It is likely that a Houthi-led protest will take place on March 18, the anniversary of the “Friday of Dignity,” during which 56 protestors were killed in 2011. By hijacking public rallies, the Houthis aim to silence the opposition and, in this specific case, avoid criticism by the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Nations Security Council.

Since the start of Yemen’s transition, the Houthis have proven to be nothing but duplicitous. After actively participating in Yemen’s transition, they quickly abandoned it. Even during the last few months of the dialogue, they engaged in bloody battles against Salafist groups in Saada governorate. Shortly after, a round of retaliatory assassinations broke out between the Islamist Islah Party and Houthis, displaying their lack of faith in a peaceful path forward for Yemen. All the while, the Houthis continued to participate actively in the NDC. 

Until 2012, the Houthi’s mortal enemy was former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh. But when their interests aligned, the Houthis allied with Saleh’s forces, who still controlled a significant number of the security apparatus, in order to capture Sana and curb the influence of their shared enemies. The Houthis dub their enemies “terrorists” and “extremists.” and they so happens to reside in the oil-rich Hadramawt and Marib governorates. The Houthi leader has accused them of “trying to occupy the country and take over its resources.”

After the capture of Sana, popular committees largely composed of Houthi allies were created to “protect the Yemeni people and maintain security.” These committees monitored the movements of Houthi opponents, occupied government buildings, and kept members of the government, including Hadi himself, under house arrest. Shortly after moving into Sana, several youth and opposition movements took to the streets to protest. The Houthis responded swiftly by unlawfully detaining and torturing several demonstrators, including Fouad al-Hamdani and Saleh al-Beshry, the latter of which died as a result. Moreover, the Houthis are censoring the media. Al-Shoumou’ andAkhbar al-Youm newspapers have been shut down, as has Suhail TV channel, the national television network, and state radio. They also took control of state-run outlets, like al-Thawra newspaper. Simultaneously, the Houthis are spreading propaganda on their own television network, al-Masirah, and coerced other channels to broadcast their speeches.

But while Machiavellian tactics may have helped the Houthis attain power, they simply do not have the skills necessary to govern single-handedly. They have not issued an economic recovery plan, even though they stipulated the need for a committee to focus on the economy in the Peace and Partnership Agreement, which they signed with Hadi's government in September 2014. And while the Houthis are keen to name their opponents, they carefully conceal any political intentions. The Supreme Revolutionary Committee, a Houthi transitional body, is composed of an undisclosed number of members. 

The Houthis now face two ex-presidents jockeying for power, a burgeoning secessionist movement, sporadic attacks by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, well-financed anti-Houthi proxies, and a failed economy. In the face of these challenges, they will likely falter.

Sama’a Al-Hamdani is a Yemen analyst and the founder of the blog Yemeniaty. You can follow her on Twitter @Yemeniaty.

The Foreign Policy Essay: Is Yemen’s Government Complicit with Al-Qaeda?

by Sama'a al-hamdani

By Sama'a Al-Hamdani 
Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Originally published on the LawFare blog 

Editor’s Note: Yemen is among the most vexing allies the United States has in the struggle against terrorism. Like Pakistan, the government in Sana’a is both a key partner and part of the problem. On the one hand, one of al-Qaeda’s most important affiliates is based in Yemen, and the Yemeni regime supports the U.S. drone program, among other counterterrorism measures. On the other hand, numerous reports persist of Yemeni government incompetence and even complicity with jihadist groups. Sama’a Al-Hamdani, a Yemen analyst who writes the blog Yemeniaty, examines this tension, assessing the problems Yemen faces in combating terrorism and offering her thoughts for how the government there should change its approach.


On April 10, 2013, Yemen’s president Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced the restructuring of Yemen’s military, which left the government weaker than ever. Several top military officials were replaced, others were moved to new and unfamiliar posts, and a struggle continues to play out behind the scenes between the Political Security Organization (PSO) and the National Security Bureau (NSB), the country’s two main intelligence agencies. The government is also divided by political and tribal loyalties.

In this environment, it is only natural that counterterrorism efforts would suffer. But is the Yemeni government doing its best to fight terrorism? Yemen has experienced assassinations, prison breaks, and terrorist attacks, all of which raise questions about the Hadi regime’s ability and willingness to fight terrorism.

Prison breaks are a constant problem in Yemen—so terrorists may be arrested, but they often end up free. One memorable prison escape occurred under the reign of Hadi’s predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, in the capital, Sana’a, in 2006. Twenty-three prisoners escaped from the Political Security Prison, which is located in one of Sana’a’s most secure and prestigious neighborhoods. The detainees reportedly dug a tunnel from their cell to a nearby mosque using the most basic utensil: a spoon. Many Yemenis discussed on Facebook their belief that at least some government officials were complicit in the escape. Two theories were possible: either the prison guards neglected to regularly check their high security prisoners, or the guards knew exactly what the prisoners were up to and possibly assisted in their escape.

For several years after that, most prison breaks involved the escape of only one or two prisoners. However, since Yemen’s revolution in 2011, which saw the abdication of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, mass prison breaks have again been on the rise. In June 2011, 67 prisoners escaped from a prison in Al-Mukalla through a 45-meter underground passage they dug themselves. A few months later, 16 prisoners—13 of whom were members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)—escaped from a prison in Aden after digging a 39-meter tunnel. Digging massive tunnels large enough to allow numerous adult males to pass through safely should be difficult if not impossible for prisoners who are supposedly carefully monitored and restricted in their access to potential digging materials, particularly after the 2006 mass escape. Yet the shockingly high number of prisoners who have successfully escaped through such tunnels would seem to indicate otherwise. Something is clearly going wrong here—either the prison guards are almost comically inept, or (much more likely) the prison guards are complicit with AQAP. Just a few days ago, Reuters revealed that Sana’a Central Prison—and in turn the Ministry of Interior—received warnings about a possible prison break, two months before it actually happened. AQAP’s infiltration of Yemen’s security system may go all the way up to include high level officials.

But while some members of the security sector in Yemen are almost certainly in collusion with terrorists, others are frequently the targets of AQAP operations. Attacks carried out against the military and security services not only intimidate officers and prevent them from doing their jobs, they also suggest a certain level of infiltration by the militants. In a number of high-profile operations, the attackers dressed in military uniforms and bypassed security checkpoints and entrance searches. For instance, two years ago, a suicide bomber in the city of Sana’a killed 90 soldiers when he infiltrated a military parade, leading some to speculate that the attacker may have had a fake military identification card. Similar attacks have taken place against military exercises, police academies, and, most recently, military bases. In the past six months, a police college in Sana’a was attacked by a suicide bomber, killing 20 cadets; another 20 people were massacred in the governorate of Shabwah when two cars exploded at a military camp; and several military bases in Abyan were attacked and the army’s Second Division in Al-Mukalla was captured.

Three things are simultaneously happening in Yemen: first, military and security personnel are too frightened to stand up to the militants and would rather surrender and cooperate than die at the hands of AQAP; second, some security officials are being bribed to work for AQAP—or at least to look the other way while AQAP operates; and third, “spoilers” (people in society who believe that peace and stability “threatens their power, worldview, and interests, and use violence to undermine attempts to achieve it,” such as AQAP and others) are taking advantage of the post-revolution transitional chaos to destroy Yemen’s military and weaken the Yemeni security apparatus.

Unfortunately, the situation seems to be getting worse, not better, and the security vacuum continues to grow. Since 2011, the government’s response to terrorism has been contradictory at best. On April 29, 2014, the Ministry of Defense and NSB launched a battle on the ground against AQAP in the governorates of Abyan and Lahj. This is the third on-the-ground battle since 2012. The details of the battle remain imprecise: the deaths of AQAP operatives are reported but many of them remain unconfirmed. Support for U.S. drone operations has also been reinforced; however, on the ground, terrorism suspects are kept anonymous in many cases and the investigation and punishment process is unclear. As the Yemeni poet and writer Nabeel Subay eloquently put it, “The government made our skies available to drones, but our lands available to terrorists.”

The Yemeni government’s lack of accountability to and concern for its military and its people have enabled AQAP to manipulate the situation to their advantage. AQAP’s understanding of the military’s weaknesses is quite evident, and each attack seems more ambitious than the one before. On March 29, 2014, AQAP’s media center released a video celebrating the “safe return” of its members from the February 14 prison break. The prisoners boasted in the video that the necessary equipment for making the explosives was handed to them by unnamed individuals in the prison.

The video was also astonishing because it showcased the freedom of movement enjoyed by AQAP in Yemen and highlighted the growing number of AQAP associates and sympathizers. The head of AQAP, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, announced in the video that a Saudi national, Ibrahim al-Rabish, was now his right-hand man. AQAP appeared as a tight unit that had plenty of recent successes to celebrate. Though the video was obviously made for propaganda purposes and to boost efforts to recruit new members from the vast pool of unemployed youth in the country, the fact that the video was shot outdoors and the celebrations took place right out in the open strongly suggests that AQAP is protected by powerful individuals in Yemen.

Just days after the release of the video, attacks on military posts continued, including an attack on April 2, in which the base of the Fourth Division of the Yemeni army in Aden was targeted by a suicide bomber, killing several soldiers and civilians. After each AQAP victory, their confidence grows; this is reflected in the growing frequency and audacity of their operations. Based on these trends, AQAP will likely continue to target military and security officials throughout the country, and the size and intensity of their operations will increase.

Faced with this mushrooming security crisis, the Hadi government reacted by putting new leaders in key security posts. On March 7, a new interior minister, Major General Abdo al-Tareb, was appointed—only three years into his predecessor’s term in office. Ghalib al-Ghamish, who headed the PSO for almost three decades, was replaced by General Jalal al-Ruwaishan. After the Sana’a Central Prison break, President Hadi assigned 20 new officers in the armed forces. Unfortunately, these personnel changes may ultimately prove to be too little, too late.

President Hadi also gave the United States even more authority in fighting terrorism in Yemen. In September 2012, he publicly endorsed the use of drones in Yemen at a talk he gave at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. His cooperation with the United States is unprecedented, and his declaration of AQAP as “the enemies” made his regime and its allies the target of AQAP attacks. Since 2012, Hadi has managed to establish himself as one of many power players; however, the balance of power in the country is still not entirely in his favor. Hadi’s ability to implement decisions rests on the cooperation and consent of other power centers. Moreover, it will be very difficult to override AQAP’s infiltration of the security system.

Much more drastic measures by the Hadi government are necessary to confront and eradicate the terrorist threat in Yemen. President Hadi’s new military appointments are a good start, but the military is too weak for this strategy alone to do the job. The corruption and complicity that allows prison breaks to occur must be exposed and parties involved in supporting these crimes should be identified and prosecuted. The only way to win this war is through domestic confrontation that eliminates the roots of terrorism and discredits the terrorists’ ideology. The recent expansion of AQAP is a consequence of the virtual absence of the rule of law in a country that suffers from extreme poverty and great political and economic injustices. Realistic solutions should involve programs that develop the Yemeni infrastructure, reduce poverty, lower high unemployment rates—especially amongst the youth—and foster national reconciliation and cohesion. It is also essential that the authority of local government be strengthened. Finally, the Yemeni government should encourage the tolerance embedded in how Islam is traditionally practiced in Yemen and liberate religious education from the bonds of radicalization and extremism.


Sama’a Al-Hamdani writes the blog Yemeniaty, which covers a range of topics on Yemen, focusing specifically on women’s issues. She has published articles in Al-Monitor, The National (UAE), MENAsource (an Atlantic Council blog), Fikra Forum, Yemen ObserverYemen TimesNews YemenYemen Today magazine, and several academic journals, and has served as a Yemen political panelist for think tanks as well as governmental and nongovernmental agencies from various parts of the world. She has a bachelor’s degree in religion and peace studies with a minor in women’s studies from the George Washington University and holds a certificate in video journalism from Al Arabiya news channel.

Politics and the evolution of Takfeer in Yemen

by Yemeniaty.com in , , , ,

Published on Oct. 12, 2013 on The Atlantic Post

By Sama’a Al-Hamdani and Afrah Nasser
I was declared an apostate at the end of April 2013 because of a political seminar on women’s empowerment hosted at my college in Taiz. In this gathering, I stated that Islam’s most stringent provisions – whether in the Qur’an or the Sunnah – are meant to refine rather than to terrorize. A radical cleric twisted my words and said that I called the Prophet Mohammed a liar and based on it, I was labeled a Kafir (apostate).  - Sally Adeeb, age 21, law school student.
Since the overthrow in Yemen of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011, 11 people have been accused of apostasy (see chart 1 below) in the practice referred to as Takfeer. One of them, Jamal al-Junid, was detained by the police in May 2013 for 15 days and finally was released after the staging of several protests. Another accused “apostate” is Ahmed Al-Arami, a literature and arts lecturer who was labeled a “secularist” in April 2013 and subsequently fled the country because of serious threats and the possibility that he might be executed. The sensitivity of offending religion is a stumbling block in the quest to return Yemen to stability.
NDC and the Evolution of Takfeer
Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference (NDC), which was launched in March 2013 and is part of a Gulf Cooperation Council plan for a negotiated transition for Yemen, has been targeted for accusations of apostasy by one of the country’s leading clerics. Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani, Yemen’s influential Muslim Brotherhood/Wahhabist cleric who is also listed as a “specially designated global terrorist” by the United States Treasury Department in 2004, recently released a YouTube video in which he condemned the current NDC political process. The video presentation discussed the framing of the state’s legislation being managed by “the State Building Committee” and claimed that the majority of the committee’s members had voted that Islam is “the state’s main source of legislation” instead of “the state’s only source of legislation.”
Al-Zindani is a non-official politician who influences the Yemeni masses by claiming the custodianship of the Shari’ah, or Islamic law. He established an non-profit religious university, Al-Iman, in 1993 and has claimed to have invented a cure for HIV/AIDS and to have found scientific proof that women cannot speak and remember at the same time.
In July 2013, Al-Zindani’s office, which is managed by his son, issued an official statement announcing the names of 37 NDC members who are allegedly “fighting Islam” and asserting that the named individuals “reject the Islamic Shari’ah and are the enemies of Islam.” The statement is believed to be a warrant and could become a Takfeer fatwa pointing to these aforementioned members as apostates. The action prompted an urgent press conference held by the NDC that condemned publication of the list or the issuance of any such destructive fatwas.
The dispute reflects not only the struggle for dominance between the traditional religious base and the newly-emerging civil power in the decision-making process; it is also a critical factor in the evolution of the nation’s potential new identity. As of yet, it remains uncertain whether or not Shari’ah will be the only source of legislation in Yemen.
Takfeer has long been a key tactic used by radical political Islam to silence its critics. Given its importance to Yemen’s ongoing transition, it is useful to look more closely at the nature of Takfeer in Yemen, who is mainly affected by it, who implements it and how it might be ended.
Chart 1: People Declared Apostates in Yemen since 2011 
Reason for Takfeer
Consequences/ Legal Action
Fikri Qassim
Writer and playwright
Jan. 2012
Commenting about replacing Gods on Facebook
Death threats
Bushra Al Maqtari
Journalist & novelist (YSP)
Jan. 2012
Controversial article
Legal suit
Mohsin ‘Ayed
Feb. 2012
For posting an intimate picture of him with his wife on Facebook
Death threats and wife asked for divorce after the fatwa
Mohammed Al-Saeidi
Researcher and writer
Dec. 2012
Research on Qu’ran
Tried and found innocent after a huge pressure campaign
Samiah Al Aghbari
YSP member & journalist
Feb. 2013
Speech on the death of Jar Allah Omar
Legal suit
Ahmed Al Soufi
March 2013
Authoring a book that encourages infidelity
Received fatwa asking him to apologize; otherwise he’ll face death.
Sally Adeeb
YSP member
April 2013
For comments on Sunnah and Qu’ran
Jamal Al Junaid
Employee at Yemen’s Justice Ministry
May 2013
Constant objection over corruption cases carried out by Islamist groups in the Ministry
Imprisoned for 15 days after a trial
Sulaiman Al Ahdal
May 2013
Filing a lawsuit over looted land
Escaped prosecution after fleeing from Hudaidah city with his family
Ahmed Al Tares Al ‘Arami
Lecturer, poet & critic
May 2013
Suggested a provocative reading-list for students
Escaped to Egypt after receiving death threats
Nabeel Saif Al Komaim
Threatened to revoke nationality
What is Takfeer and Who Does It? 
Takfeer is the process of identifying and labeling a person an apostate from Islam. The objective of the process is to reprimand people who break fundamentalist norms, and it penalizes them on two levels. First, it publicly shames an individual by labeling him or her an “infidel” for “religious” purposes. Second, and on a more personal level, the individual becomes an “apostate” and his or her views are renounced as heresy. The “apostate” can be punished through social and/or legal ostracism, or even in some cases by execution through official or mob action. The Takfeer process effectively coerces the society to conform to a single ideology and is a means of enforcing a certain “norm.” Ultimately, the objective is to restrict creation of a pluralistic society.
The incidence of Takfeer is wholly political and can be traced back to the Abbasid Caliphate, where the targets were primarily influential thinkers, writers and philosophers, such as Al-Tabari, Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Ibn Rushd (Averroes).
The modern Takfeeri movement tends to target marginalized individuals and women, because the wealthy and influential elements in the society tend to use the process themselves as a means of maintaining their position.
Declaring women infidels is not a new trend in the Middle East and is not unique to Yemen. For example, in Egypt, there was Nawal Al Saadawi and in Kuwait Laila Al Othman and Aliyah Al-Shouaib, among many others. The recent Takfeer attacks in Yemen have not been against corrupt individuals who were economically powerful or belonged to an affluent tribe. Marginalized groups and women simply constitute the easiest targets to be attacked.
The main centers of impetus for Takfeer have been the Hanbali school of Sunni Islam associated with, but not necessarily endorsed by, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabist faction (commonly referred to as Salafism). Salafism is a Sunni movement that calls for the practice of Islam in the way that the Salaf (“predecessors” or “ancestors”) did. Technically, both Muslim Brotherhood and Wahhabis are Salafis; however, in the Arab world, the term Salafi usually refers to Wahhabis only. In Yemen, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis are at times grouped together due to the lack of general understanding of their differences and to their resemblance in political perspectives.
Most Takfeeris belong to either one of these two factions, but it is essential to note that not all Muslim Brotherhood members or Wahhabis endorse the practice. In fact, several imams have denounced the Takfeer process as unethical; for example, the late Yemeni Islamic scholar, Muhammad al-Shawkani, who had supported Takfeer in his early years as a scholar, subsequently recanted and issued public condemnations of it. Another contemporary and moderate Islamic scholar, Habib Ali al-Jifri, also condemns Takfeer.
What Do Takfeeris Want?
As it is often a reflection of the nation’s underlying political trends, Takfeer is frequently an evolving process. It is primarily a means of keeping people’s attitudes in check through the manipulation of public opinion; as Takfeeris long for a theocratic state, the process of Takfeer, especially in a transitional situation such as now exists in Yemen, is likely to be reactionary rather than progressive.
During Yemen’s Revolution in March 2011, Yemeni radical cleric Abdulmajeed Al Zindani stated, “The revolutions happening in the Arab world are introductions to establishing an Islamic Caliphate.”
A modern day Caliphate would be a centralized religious dictatorship. Advocates such as Al Zindani are seeking to influence, dominate and restrain the masses. They romanticize and glorify the time of the caliphates and use propaganda to tarnish the prospect of a civil state by claiming it would corrupt faith. Takfeeris are radicals who reject compromise and claim to hold absolute truths through the exploitation of religion.
As is true of other Takfeeri groups in the Middle East, Yemeni Takfeeris seek to change and dominate the “norms” of the societies in which they operate. Takfeeris exhibit their political and religious affiliations through outward appearances such as dress and social rituals and attempt to force these on society as norms.
For instance, Yemeni women no longer wear colorful dresses but instead are covered in black. Women who do not follow this norm are easily identified and could be targeted. Such an obvious outward expression of adherence allows the group to measure its success: the more people comply to the uniform, the more authority they gain. This distinction facilitates an impression of greater cohesion. In turn, the Takfeeris have successfully created a binary community in Yemen where people are divided into “us” versus “them.”
Takfeer also is a means of suppressing dissent and effectively silencing the “enemy.” In a pious society such as Yemen’s, once God is added to the equation, individuals of faith are fearful to stand on the opposing side. The innate injustice of this situation is expressed in the quintessential proportionality argument; bringing God into a political or an ideological argument is equivalent to fighting a defenseless village with machine guns.
Takfeer in Yemen
Historically, Takfeer in Yemen has not been limited to Sunni Islam. The earliest record of mass-Takfeer traces to 1205 CE when the Zaydi (Shi’a) Imam Abdullah Bin Hamza declared as apostates a faction of Zaydis known as Al-Matrifiyah, an action that precipitated a bloody massacre in the governorate of ‘Amran in 1213 (610 Hijri).
The use of mass-Takfeer against political opponents was more recently on display during Yemen’s Civil War of 1994, when Al Zindani and ِAbdulwahab Al Dailami, Minister of Justice during Yemen’s Civil War in 1994, invoked it to legitimize war against secessionists.
Al Dailami issued a fatwa to that effect, and went so far as to legitimize the killing of civilians, accusing them of being weak Muslims for allowing the secessionists to be “shoved” among them.
Al-Dailami’s fatwa against people in Yemen’s south during the 1994 Civil War is considered one of the causes of the killing of thousands of people in the south. In the post-war era, Al-Dailami and Al-Zindani denied that they had issued any fatwa during that war.
Years later, during Sa’dah’s string of six wars that began in 2004, the beliefs and practices of the Houthis (now called Ansar Allah) were questioned, and some clerics labeled Zaydis as heretics.
During Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule (1978-2012), the Takfeeri movement targeted not only political opponents, but also journalists, artists and writers, as well as anyone else who had the potential to influence people’s minds (see timeline below for detailed information). Most of the Takfeeri fatwas issued in Yemen over the past 33 years were mandated by Wahhabi clerics.
The declaration of women as apostates is often part of the larger “us” versus “them” mentality; women who refuse to adhere to the Takfeeri dress uniform of a very conservative veil (norm) are considered “western” and therefore associated with the enemy (them). Also, women who do not adhere to the prescribed doctrines governing female behavior are considered “anti-social” to conservative norms.
Women facing Takfeer frequently are independent thinkers and are likely to have closer ties to youth movements rather than being associated with traditional political parties. The objectives of such women are usually wider than merely fighting marginalization and extend to the sort of defamation and baseless threats that are usually a part of being singled out as an apostate.
For their part, Takfeeris tend to view women as a homogenous group. Inspired by the domino theory, Takfeeris believe that if one woman leader is terrorized, other emerging women leaders would become silent. The same theory applies to other marginalized groups.

Acceptance of Takfeer 
In the past 20 years, Yemenis have experienced a crisis of governance and have come to consider Takfeeri movements as a shift from the former regime, a lesser of two evils. Moreover, religious groups were the only opposition entities allowed to operate freely under Saleh’s regime, which saved him from being targeted as an “enemy of Islam.”
Operating in such a relatively free environment for the past 23 years, the Takfeeri groups have had plenty of time to assimilate into Yemeni society, and their level of organization has been enhanced as well by funding received from individuals residing in Saudi Arabia. Unlike other political movements in the country, their ideology is easy to articulate and powerful. The current transitional period in Yemen offers a fertile ground for their continued rise to power.
The increasing prominence of Takfeeris reflects a concomitant deterioration of ijtihad, the process of independent reasoning within Shari’ah, or Islamic law. It also highlights the domination of Sunni Takfeeri trends in the nation’s intellectual milieu and hints at an underlying confusion (because of the fragile religious scholarship in the country) in the ability to distinguish between what is ‘Aib(disgraceful/dishonorable) and what is Haram (forbidden/taboo).
Indoctrination, ignorance and political aspiration are the main reasons that Yemenis accept the process of Takfeer. Illiteracy in Yemen is 40 percent (around 70 percent for women) and the population depends heavily on the guidance of jurists. In the last two decades, Yemen gave precedence to Al ‘Ilm Bil Deen (religious studies) over Al ‘Ilm Bil Donya (scientific and technical studies). Yemeni society remains interdependent and it is easy to gain public support. Others fear being labeled irreligious. It is important to remember that most Tafkeeris genuinely believe they are carrying out God’s wishes on earth.
Takfeeris should be made aware that declaring people apostates will silence some individuals but is not a long-term solution of eliminating all opposition. The practice of Takfeer has no roots to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims and Islamists will benefit from a message that Islam is a tolerant and a rational religion. Atonement was and should be an option for “sinners,” especially when the sin is narrowly defined by a particular sect. Yemen desperately needs an Islamic critique on the use of Takfeer.
It is also essential that human rights, and especially those for women, be codified in the new Yemeni constitution. Members of the National Dialogue need to ensure that future jurists selected for the drafting process are aware of the need for a detailed consideration of people’s rights of expression to prevent future strife.
Shari’ah is presently the only source of legislation in Yemen. If this simplistic and vaguely defined body of law remains, it will be important to identify which schools of Islamic law will be followed and the specific jurists who will be issuing fatwas. Strict criteria also will be required on who can be an Islamic jurist in the future (perhaps graduates of Al-Azhar University or those who hold a Ph.D. or M.A. in Islamic studies). All of this needs to be done without restricting Yemen’s Islamic diversity.
Finally,  mandatory education must be enforced to help individuals make informed decisions. The Yemeni educational system, which is currently being revamped, needs to give equal importance to scientific education (learned knowledge over memorized knowledge). More importantly, the people need to be aware of the influence of religious imperialism from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Egypt and Turkey. When it comes to governance, people need to understand that there are modes of governance other than religious orthodoxy or failed “democracy.”
Sama’a Al-Hamdani writes the blog Yemeniaty, which covers a range of topics on Yemen, focusing specifically on women’s issues. You can follow her @Yemeniaty.
Afrah Nasser is a blogger from Yemen living in Sweden and co-founder of the @YemeniSalon in Stockholm.

حصة المرأة: هل هي نجاح للمجتمع الدولي أم للمرأة اليمنية؟

by Yemeniaty.com in

نشرت المقالة في منتدى فكرة

في 15 سبتمبر/أيلول، كتب الرئيس اليمني عبد ربه منصورهادي مقالته الافتتاحية الأولى له على الإطلاق على أمل طمأنة الشعب اليمني حول تقدم المرحلة السياسية الحالية. والمقالالذي نُشر في مجلة التايمز اليمنية والمتاح فقط باللغة الإنجليزية يبرز دور المرأة أثناء المرحلة الانتقالية ويثني على وضع المرأة في اليمن. والأهم من ذلك أن الرئيس يدعم بشكل غير مباشر حصة الـ 30% المقترحة، حيث يقول "لضمان سماع تلك الأصوات، عقد تحالف جديد للنساء المؤثرات مؤتمراً صحفياً اليوم لتأييد الدعم الوطني لتخصيص حصة 30 بالمائة على الأقل لتمثيل المرأة في جميع فروع الحكومة".

وبدون شك فإن مشاركة المرأة في مؤتمر الحوار الوطني كانت قوية حيث تمثل المرأة 28% تقريباً من جميع المشاركين. كما ترأست المرأة ثلاث من لجان العمل التسع. فضلاً عن أنهن شكلن تحالفات داخل مؤتمر الحوار وخارجه لقيادة حقوق المرأة، ورغم كل هذه الجهود، إلا أنه تعذر الوصول إلى قرار بالإجماع بخصوص حصة الـ 30%. وبغض النظر عن ذلك، يبدو أن مؤتمر الحوار الوطني في اليمن سيوافق على حصة الـ 30% للمرأة في جميع فروع الحكومة الثلاثة، لكن هل هذا النجاح يرجع إلى الجهود الدؤوبة من جانب المرأة اليمنية، أم أنه يهدف إلى جعل اليمن تبدو وكأنها أكثر ديمقراطية؟

رغم أن مشاركة المرأة في مؤتمر الحوار الوطني مُلفته للانتباه، إلا أن الحوار يظل منفصلاً تماماً عن حقائق المرأة اليمنية على الأرض. لا تزال العملية الانتقالية، التي كان من المقرر لها أن تنتهي في 18 سبتمبر/أيلول، تلقى دعماً قوياً من المجتمع الدولي. وهذا يسترعي سؤالاً حول مدى النجاح المحتمل للعملية على المدى الطويل إذا كان الهدف هو تحقيق القبول الدولي مقارنة بالمشاركة الحقيقية والتأثير على الأرض.

حصة الـ30%

بحسب متطلبات العملية التي يقودها مؤتمر الحوار الوطني، يجب أن تحظى أي مادة في المرحلة الأولية بـ 90% من الأصوات بين اللجان من أجل الموافقة عليها، وإلا فإنه سيتم إرسالها إلى لجنة توفيق الآراء، التي تأسست للإشراف على عملية الحوار من أجل الحفاظ على الانسجام. وإذا قامت لجنة توفيق الآراء بتعديل المادة وإعادتها إلى اللجان، فيجب أن تحصل على موافقة بنسبة 75% وإلا سيتم إعادتها مرة أخرى إلى الهيئة الإشرافية. وأخيراً، يجب الموافقة على مسودة معدلة بنسبة 55% من اللجان. وإذا لم توافق عليها اللجان، فسوف تتخذ لجنة توفيق الآراء ورئيس الحوار القرار النهائي حول ما إذا كان سيتم المضي قدماً في هذه المادة أم لا.

تجتمع لجان بناء الدولة والحكم الرشيد والحقوق والحريات في مؤتمر الحوار الوطني لمناقشة حصة المرأة، وسوف تتطلب حال الموافقة عليها أن يكون 30% من المسؤولين من النساء عبر جميع فروع الحكومة. وقد كانت لجنة بناء الدولة هي اللجنة الوحيدة التي تمكنت من الموافقة المطلوبة بنسبة إجماع 90%، رغم أن هذا كان يرجع فقط إلى حقيقة أن بعض الأعضاء حجبوا أصواتهم على افتراض أن ذلك سوف يخفض من معدل الإجماع. لم تصل اللجنتان السابقتان إلى معدل الأصوات المطلوب، لذا فإنه بحسب إجراءات الحوار، فإن الأمر أُحيل إلى لجنة توفيق الآراء قبل أغسطس/آب. وفي ذلك الوقت، كان من المنطقي افتراض أن الموضوع سوف يُعاد إلى اللجان العاملة حيث سيتعين على النساء تشكيل تحالفات والعمل بجد للحصول على الإجماع المطلوب بنسبة 75% للموافقة على المادة.

وإذا كان للنساء والجماعات الشبابية أن يوحدن أصواتهن للفوز بالإجماع في اللجان، يرجح أن النسبة التي سيحصلون عليها ستقل عن المطلوب ولن يحصلوا سوى على 50%. ومن هناك، سيكون من الصعب للغاية الفوز بنسبة الأصوات المتبقية، لا سيما بالنظر إلى أن الكثيرين من الرجال الذين أعلنوا تأييدهم لحصة الـ30% رفضوها لاحقاً عندما جاء وقت التصويت. عارضت السلطات التقليدية في اليمن علانية فكرة تخصيص حصة 30% للمرأة، بل إن الأحزاب "الليبرالية" في اليمن اختارت حصة 15% بدلاً من نسبة الـ 30% المقترحة. غير أنه بعد المقال الافتتاحي للرئيس، غيَّر العديد من أعضاء الأحزاب المشاركين في الحوار من لهجتهم. ثم وافقت لجنة توفيق الآراء على أنه ينبغي تمثيل المرأة في جميع الهيئات الحكومية الثلاثة، ومن ثم أرجأت مناقشة حصة المرأة إلى حين عقد الجلسة العامة النهائية.

تقييم الحصة

تستند حصة المرأة إلى فكرة أنها سوف تُحسِّن من مشاركة المرأة في الحكم، بما يعزز قضايا المرأة، من خلال منهج تنازلي من أعلى لأسفل. أولاً، يقوم هذا على افتراض أن تحديد حصة الـ 30% للمرأة يضمن أنه سيتم تنفيذها، بينما في الواقع لا توجد أي ضمانات بأن هذا سيحدث. ثم هناك افتراض بأن النساء اللواتي وقع عليهن الاختيار أو تم انتخابهن سوف يقدِّمن حقوق المرأة على الأجندة السياسية لأحزابهن والسؤال الحقيقي هو ما إذا كانت هذه الحصة سوف تصنع فارقاً فعلياً وتحدث نقلة في الأوضاع المتدهورة لصحة المرأة ومعدلات الأمية والبطالة والوضع الاقتصادي. من المؤكد أنها تستطيع فعل ذلك، لكن يُشترط لذلك عمل النساء المشتغلات بالسياسة والموظفين الحكوميين بجد من أجل إنجاز هذه الحقوق.

يقول العديد من الرجال إن النساء غير جاهزات لنسبة الـ 30% نظراً لقلة عددهن، سواء بسبب التعليم أو الخبرة المهنية. بيد أن هذه الحُجة غير صحيحة. فالعديد من المسؤولين الذكور يشغلون مناصبهم بسبب روابطهم الاجتماعية وليس بسبب مؤهلاتهم. والحجة الأخرى هي أن نسبة الـ 30% هي حصة مرتفعة جداً، لا سيما وأن الرجال هم العائلون الأساسيون لعائلاتهم. وهذه الحُجة ضعيفة كذلك لأن الأرقام أظهرت أن النساء اللواتي يكسبن المزيد من المال ينفقن ثروتهن على عوائلهم. وعلاوة على ذلك، إذا اعتنق اليمن الفيدرالية، سوف تؤدي الحكومات المحلية الجديدة إلى خلق المزيد من المناصب والفرص وبهذا لن "يسرق" النساء أي من الوظائف المتاحة.

هناك تخوف بأن الحصة لن تُطبق وبأن النساء اللواتي يقع عليهن الاختيار من خلال الحصة سوف يعززن من أجندة أحزابهن وليس أجندة المرأة. وعلى كل حال، من المحتمل أن تكون حصة الـ 30% تهيئ المشهد لفشل المرأة اليمنية، لكن هذه مخاطرة ينبغي للمرأة اليمنية الإقدام عليها.

لقد عملت المرأة اليمنية بجد منذ أوائل تسعينيات القرن الماضي من أجل كسب كافة الحقوق التي نالتها. وفي حال الموافقة على الحصة، ينبغي للمرأة استخدامها لمصلحتها كفرصة لمواصلة العمل الجيد نحو تحسين أوضاع المرأة في المجتمع. إن حصة المرأة ليست الحل الوحيد، لكنها إحدى الطرق العديدة التي تستطيع من خلالها المرأة التأثير على السياسات. وللأسف، كان يُنظر إلى المرأة اليمنية في عام 2011 باعتبارها رمزاً للتغيير الديمقراطي في انتفاضة 2011 اليمنية، لكن لم يجري مخاطبتهن على الفور كفاعلين جادين في العملية السياسية. وإذا كان المجتمع الدولي والحكومة اليمنية ينظران إلى حصة المرأة باعتبارها معياراً رئيسياً "لنجاح" العملية الانتقالية السياسية الحالية بدون أي التزام جاد لدعم تنفيذها، فإن الحصة، شأنها شأن الحوار، ستكون مجرد عملية تشمل الفئات العليا من المجتمع ولن يكون لها تأثير فعلي على الأرض.

سماء الهمداني، باحثة يمنية وتكتب في مدونة Yemeniaty.com. يمكنك متابعتها علىTwitter @Yemeniaty

Yemen’s Quota: Success for International Community or Yemeni Women?

by Yemeniaty.com in , , , , , , ,

This article was originally published through Fikra Forum on Sept. 27, 2013

On September 15, Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi wrote his first-ever op-ed in hopes of reassuring the Yemeni people of the current political transition’s progress. The article, published in Yemen Times and available only in English, highlights the role of women during the transition and praises the status of women in Yemen. More importantly, the President indirectly endorses the proposed 30% quota; he writes, “To ensure these voices are heard, a new coalition of influential women held a press conference today advocating for national support for at least, a 30 percent quota for female [representation] in all branches of government.”

Without a doubt, women’s participation in the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) has been powerful, with women representing almost 28% of all participants. Female representatives chaired three of the nine working committees. They also formed alliances within and outside the dialogue to champion women’s rights; yet in spite of these efforts, they could not reach a unanimous decision regarding the 30% quota. Regardless, it appears that Yemen’s NDC will pass the 30% quota for women in all three branches of the government, but is this success due to the persistent efforts of Yemeni women, or is it in order to make Yemen look more democratic?

While the participation of women in the NDC is impressive, the dialogue remains completely detached from the realities of Yemeni women on the ground. The transitional process, which was meant to conclude on September 18, continues to be strongly supported by the international community. This begs the question of how successful the process is likely to be in the long term if its goals are achieving international approval as opposed to true engagement and impact on the ground.

The 30% Quota 

According to the NDC process requirements, at the initial stage, an article must receive 90% of the vote among the committees in order to pass; otherwise it is sent to the Consensus Committee, which was established to oversee the dialogue process in order to maintain harmony. If the Consensus Committee modifies the article and sends it back to the committees, it must then receive 75% approval or it is returned again to the overseeing body. Finally, a modified draft must be passed by 55% of the committees. If it is not passed by the committees, the Consensus Committee and the dialogue president make the final decision on whether or not to move forward with the article.

The State Building, Good Governance, and Rights and Freedoms committees in the NDC all convened to discuss the women’s quota, which, if passed, would require 30% of officials to be women across all branches of government. The State Building Committee was the only committee that managed to pass the initial required 90% consensus, though this was only due to the fact that some members withheld their vote on the assumption that it would lower the consensus rate. The other two committees did not reach the required votes so, according to dialogue procedures, the matter was transferred to the Consensus Committee before August. At that time, it was reasonable to assume that the subject would be transferred back to the working committees where women would have to form alliances and work hard to get the required 75% consensus to pass the article.

If the women and the youth groups were to unite their votes to win consensus in the committees, they would still likely fall short with only 50%. From there, it would be extremely challenging to gain the remaining required votes, especially considering that several men who publicly endorsed the 30% quota later rejected it when it was time to vote. The traditional powers in Yemen publicly opposed the idea of a 30% quota, and even the “liberal” parties of Yemen opted for a 15% quota rather than the proposed 30%. However, after the president’s op-ed, several party members in the dialogue shifted their tone. The Consensus Committee then agreed that women should be represented in all three bodies of the government, thereby postponing the discussion of a women’s quota until the final plenary session.

Assessing the Quota

The women’s quota is based on the idea that it will improve women’s participation in governance, thus advancing women’s issues, through a top-down approach. First, this is based on the assumption that the creation of a 30% quota for women ensures that it will be implemented, when in reality, there are no guarantees that this will occur. Then, there is the assumption that the women selected or elected will put women’s rights ahead of their party’s political agenda. The real question is whether or not this quota can truly make a difference in transforming the deteriorating conditions of women’s health, illiteracy rates, unemployment, and economic status. It certainly can, but only if women politicians and government employees work hard for these rights.

Several men argue that women are not ready to have the 30% quota because too few women are qualified, either based on education or professional experience. This argument, however, is invalid. Many male officials are placed in their positions for their social connections rather than their qualifications. Another argument is that 30% is too high a quota, especially since men are the main providers for their families. This argument is also weak because figures have shown that women who make more money spend their wealth on their families. Furthermore, if Yemen embraces federalism, new local governments will lead to new positions and jobs so women will not “steal” any of the available jobs.

There are two main legitimate concerns regarding the quota: first, that the quota will not be implemented; and second, that the women selected through the quota will promote their party’s agenda rather than a women’s agenda. In either case, it is possible that the 30% quota is setting Yemeni women up to fail, but it is a risk that Yemen’s women should be willing to take.

Yemeni women have worked very hard since the early 1990s for every right that they have. If the quota is passed, then women should use it to their advantage as an opportunity to continue their good work of improving the status of women in society. The quota for women is not the only solution, but rather one of the many ways in which women can influence politics. Unfortunately, Yemeni women were seen as symbols of democratic change in the 2011 Yemeni uprising, but they have not so readily been approached as serious influencers of the political process. If the women’s quota is viewed by the international community and the Yemeni government as a primary benchmark of “success” of the current political transition without a serious commitment to supporting its implementation, the quota, like the dialogue, will merely be a process involving the upper echelons of society and will have no real impact on the reality on the ground.

Sama’a Al-Hamdani is a Yemeni researcher and writes on the blog Yemeniaty.com. You can follow her on Twitter @Yemeniaty. 

نداء للمشاركات في مؤتمر الحوار، لتعزيز الكوتا "الحصة النسبية"

by Yemeniaty.com

نداء للمشاركات في مؤتمر الحوار، لتعزيز الكوتا "الحصة النسبية"
سماء خالد الهمداني
١٣ أغسطس ٢٠١٣

 قبل بدء الحوارالوطني، ، توقعت في مقال سابق نشر في "برنامج التدريب الدولي لإدارة الصراعات" أن المرأة اليمنية ستجد صعوبة في تحديد أولوياتها. هل هي ناشطة نسوية أو سياسية أولا؟ مع كل التحديات الملحة التي تواجه اليمن، هل ستهمل قضايا المرأة؟ في اعتقادي ان المرأة اليمنية لم تستعد جيدا لترتيب مطالبها  في وقت مبكر، ونحن الآن على بعد  شهر واحد فقط من نهاية الحوار ولم تنجح المشاركات في وضع جدول عمل مشترك لمناصرته في لجان العمل التسع. الآن وفي الشهر الاخير، ستضطرالمشاركات للنضال  من أجل معركة كبرى، وهي حصة الثلاثين بالمائة  بنسبة  في الهيئات التشريعية والتنفيذية والقضائية وحتى في مواقع اتخاذ القرار في الأحزاب السياسية.

في الأسبوع الأول من أغسطس، حضرت مؤتمرا للنساء المشاركات في الحوار الوطني، والذي أعد بالمشاركة بين منظمة فريدريش إيبرت والامم المتحدة. وسمعت من كثير من الحضور  أن هذا الملتقى ليس بالوحيد الذي رتب من قبل مؤسسات دولية للمشاركات في الحوار و يبدو أن الأمم المتحدة تقوم باحتكار لقاءات النساء والشباب.  بغض النظر، خلال هذا الحدث، قدم  الدكتور فؤاد الصلاحي ورقة ممتازة عن حقوق المرأة في اليمن وأهدافها في الحوار الوطني. وكان الجانب السلبي الوحيد لهذا الحدث أن د. الصلاحي صرح بإنه لا يعتقد حقا بأن الحوار قادر على تحقيق الأهداف التي كتب عنها أوعن أي شيء اخر، فهو يشعر بأن نتائج  الحوار قررت سلفا من قبل أفراد ذوي نفوذ وراء أبواب مغلقة.

بالرغم من ان المعلومات والفعالية كانتا مفيدتين للغاية، إلا ان أملي خاب لان الوثيقتة لم تتعامل مع معتقدات الباحث الشخصية وفهمت من سلوك الحاضرات  أن الشك ينتابهن في قدرتهن على تحقيق أي شيء يذكر للمرأة. فيما بعد وفي حديث خاص، قالت لي واحدة من أبرز الحاضرين : "أتمنى أننا ناقشنا أساليب الضغط لفرض حصة ال ٣٠٪ أو اي من حقوق المرأة في الدستور". هكذا وباختصار، هذه المقالة هي عن الآليات والتكتيكات التي يمكن أن تستخدمها المرأة اليمنية في حوارها الوطني.

ليس من السر أن المرأة في الحوار الوطني هي في وضع غير مؤات بنسبة ٢٦٪ (وفي خارج الحوار ثلاث وزيرات من أصل خمسة وثلاثين، وامرأة برلمانية من أصل ٣٠١ برلماني). على الرغم من أن الحوار الوطني جار ، فان التعيينات الحالية لا تأخذ نسبة ال٣٠٪ للنساء بعين الاعتبار. ومن المرجح أن العديد من هؤلاء النساء قد يقفن إلى جانب سياسة أحزابهن والتصويت ضد حقوق المرأة لأنهن يفضلن أن يكن ساسة بدلا من ناشطات في مجال حقوق المرأة. ولكي تنجح المرأة، يجب على هذا المبدأ بالتغير. ومن الواضح أيضا، في هذه المرحلة من الحوار الوطني، أن الحوار لن يؤدي إلى تحقيق أي مصالحة أو إجراءات لحل مشاكل اليمن. نتيجة الحوار الوحيدة ستتمثل  في شكل الحكومة والنظام الإنتخابي الجديد، بالاضافة الى دستور مفصل. مشكلة اليمن الرئيسية لم تكن قط في الدستورـ بل في تنفيذ القوانين - ومع ذلك فإنه لا يزال مهماته تحاول  للنساء ضمان حقوق أفضل للمرأة في المستقبل في حالة بدء تنفيذ القوانين. في ظل هذا الجو السياسي الكئيب، لا اظن ان ثمة انجازات كبرى في انتظار المرأة ولكن إذا لم تستطع النساء الوصول لحصة الاناث، فإني سأدعو المرأة اليمنية لتثور على نفسها.

مشكلة النساء في اليمن (وكل المجموعات المستقلة أخرى) هي أنها ترفض القيادة.
 ينظراليمنيون الى الفرد ويتفحصون معتقداته وفلسفته السياسية الكاملة، و إذا لم يتفقوا معه بشكل تام يرفضوا تأيده. هذا النهج بحاجة الى التغيير، فالنساء بحاجة إلى الجلوس معا والتفاوض والاتفاق العام ، فإن الاتفاق بالإجماع ليس ضروريا  اذا تم اشراك الغالبية. وبدون ذلك، الباقي لا طائل منه.
عندما يتم تأمين اتفاق مبدأي على بعض النقاط الأساسية، يجب على النساء الانخراط في تحالفات ونسج  شبكة للمرأة اليمنية تمتد إلى خارج مؤتمر  الحوار وتغطي كافة انحاء اليمن.على الرغم من السياسات، والمواقع والمذاهب والمخاوف المختلفة، لا تزال المرأة موحدة من خلال نوع جنسها مما يسهل عملية الدمج بين الفئات المختلفة. وبعد تكوين التحالفات، يجب على المشاركات التركيز على أساليب خلق مواقف ايجابية من الشعب. اولا، يجب جمع التعاطفات فالفوز لا يأتي رخيصا. وكل حملة بحاجه الى المال ومن حسن حظ نساء اليمن فان الكثير من المنظمات يدعمن نطور النساء. لذا يجب على المشاركات البدء بجمع المال من الجهات المانحة الكبرىداخلية قبل الخارجية، ومن ثم جمع التبرعات الصغرى، مع الأخذ في الاعتبار أن الوقت بدأ ينفد.

يجب على النساء ممارسة الضغط على القواعد  (أو الضغط بطريقة غير مباشرة) وهنا تطلب النساء من المجتمع الاتصال بالمسؤولين الحكوميين وأفراد المجتمع الذي يؤثرون سياسيا بشأن مسألة الكوتا. أبجديات الضغط تشمل كتابة رسائل إلى جميع المنظمات اللاربحية لإبلاغهم بخطط التحالف النسوي، وبإمكان المنظمات المساعدة في تنظيم حملة للمرأة وبدعمها من خارج البلاد. ويجب على المعنيات بالأمر  القيام بالزيارات الشخصية للنساء في منازلهن في مختلف القرى والمحافظات (ويجب تحديد هدف الزيارة بدعم حقوق  المرأة لا أكثر ) وباللبعد عن القضايا الايدولوجية والسياسية). وعندما تصبح المجموعة أكثر تنظيما، يجب محاولة لقاء رئيس الجمهورية لتقديم متطلبات المرأة في الحوار الوطني.

ما تحتاجه المرأة اليمنية الآن أكثر من أي وقت مضى هو حملة إعلامية على شبكة الإنترنت، وفي وسائل الإعلام التقليدية مثل التلفزيون والراديو. يجب ان تصاغ الاهداف خارج الجعجعة السياسية، وأن تكون مبادؤها  مبسطة. وسيكون من المفيد إذا تم اختيار ثلاث ناطقات بإسم حركة المرأة  للتواصل مع مختلف وسائل الإعلام بشكل منتظم وللتواصل مع الجماهير والشعب بشكل عام. وبعد ذلك فإنه من ألسهل جمع النساء لإحداث تأثير كبيرفي وقت لاحق، ويمكن استخدام اساليب مثل المقاطعة وحشد المظاهرات. المرأة الان بحاجة الى ادراك قوتها الاجتماعية واستخدامها لصالحها.

اما في داخل الحوار، تحتاج المرأة لاستخدام النداء الأخلاقي لتحقيق حصة ال٣٠٪ كطلب عادل. بسبب القوالب النمطية الثقافية في مجتمعنا الأبوي، نادرا ما تنجح المرأة في الانتخابات بناء  على نوعها  فقط وبغض النظر عن مؤهلاتها ويمكن تصحيح هذا الظلم عن طريق منح النساء حصة محددة من التمثيل في البرلمان. الهدف من التفاوض داخل الحوار هو الحصول على الرضا المتبادل ومناشدة شعور الآخرين للعدالة. تخصيص حصص للمرأة لا تصنع التميز، ولكنها تعوض عن حواجز فعلية في مجتمع  لا يمنح المرأة نصيبها العادل من المقاعد السياسية. للنساء حق، كمواطنات ، إلى التمثيل المتساوي وهناك حاجة إلى تجاربهم في الحياة السياسية لضمان نجاح مستقبل اليمن على المدى الطويل. الحصة النسبية ضرورية لأن المرأة في وضع غير مؤات (الأغلبية أمية)، ولا يمكن اختيار النساء في الحكومة والاحزاب على أساس المؤهلات التعليمية - لأسباب كثيرة منها استبعاد المرأة العادية وتشجيع صنع حكومة نخبوية أخرى. الحصة النسبية هي عادلة لأنها توفر مقاعد للمرأة في حال اختيار نظام التمثيل النسبي في انتخابات اليمن القادمة.

استراتيجية أخرى هي استخدام "التغطيه" أو التعميم في الحديث عن حقوق مشاركة المرأة السياسية. هذا الاسلوب ابتكره الاطفال ومن اسهلهم استخداما. فالكثير من الدول العربية والمسلمة استخدمت الكوتا مثل ليبيا، تونس، العراق،المغرب، مصر، والأردن. والان اليمن استخدمت هذا النظام في الحوار الوطني ولم ينتهي العالم. وبامكان النساء استخدام استراتجيات اخرى مثل الإقناع الرشيد، النداء الملهم، والتشاور. ثم يمكن تبادل المنافع مع مجموعات الاقليات والشخصيات المحرومة الأخرى باستخدام  المقايضات  (مع التركيز بشكل خاص على فتة الشباب المستقل).

في الختام،علينا الادراك بان الجماعات المعارضة لحصة ال٣٠٪  تقوم بتعبئة الناس وهم مستعدين لخوض  المظاهرات.
المرأة في الحوار الوطني بعيدة نوعا ما عن الواقع اليمني وهي بحاجة إلى التواصل مع الشارع اليمني أكثر من اي شيء أخر. النساء بحاجة إلى ترسيخ قضيتهن ولتجاهل الأيديولوجيات السياسية. وعلينا تذكير الجميع بأن اليمن قد وقعت بالفعل على العديد من الاتفاقيات الدولية لضمان حقوق المرأة. وعلى جميع النساء العلم بان حقوق المرأة متوافقة مع ديننا الإسلامي وأحثهن  باستخدام هذا الدين الرحيم لصالحهن بدلا من استخدامه لتعقيد مستقبلهن ومستقبل غيرهن. حان الوقت لتقوم المرأة اليمنية بدورها كقائدة وارجو من المشاركات في الحوار الوطني إلهام وتوحيد الأجيال الشابة من النساء فهن في حاجة إلى ذلك. فارجوكن ، ضعن  حاجتكن الشخصية وتطلعاتكن السياسية جانبا من أجل مستقبل الامة.