On the 12th of August Empowerment of Women Activists in Media Techniques (EWAMT), the Rising Voices grantee from Yemen, participated in a fair arranged by an NGO called Youth of Leadership for Development Foundation. EWAMT project leader Ghadia'a al-absi writes about it:
We have noticed the young men were interested in this project, and wondered why they are excluded from joining this project. In this event we extended our contacts, also we knew that EWAMT project is popular among other NGOs and youth initiatives.
We have distributed the EWAMT brochures, and made a video about Hand in Hand Initiative activities including EWAMT project.
The Yemeni society is very conservative and it is deeply rooted in its culture and traditions. You will see most Yemeni women wearing the black “Abaya” or “Sharshaf” (veils) and many of them prefer to stay inside the house. However women are allowed to drive and vote in Yemen. You can find women as teachers, nurses, doctors, businesswomen and journalists. Here in this video (uploaded in Dotsub by Pangea) you will see how much courage a women has to show to break the taboos of women in Yemeni society:
And the women participants of Rising Voices project EWAMT are taking bold steps to join in the conversation of equal rights and empowerment of women. Here in the EWAMT Facebook page, a discussion was initiated by instructor Jamal Nasser Al-Hanesh about the relationship of men and women in Yemen. He talks about issues like the frequent exploitation of women and deception by men and whether this is responsible for the lack of trust on men by women.
Abeer Aeriqi, who blogs at Pearl, joins the discussion saying that the men are deceptive, this message is printed in a girl's mind so the fear is normal.
Kholoud opines that it is the duty of the girl to be careful of the treachery of men. The blogger suggests the women to exercise restraint in a relation but not be afraid of men.
Pearl writes in her Shells blog:
By pearl I mean every Yemeni woman who try to be stronger and overcome all difficulties that she face. Shells are the environment around the pearl as family (father, mother, brothers, sisters and husband) some times this shell doesn't have a flexibility so this lead to damaging of the very fine pearl but even those pearls try to have her own identity and personality whatever happen. Sea is the society which also some time make restriction on the pearl, ocean is the whole world.
So all of these things around the little pearl. Is she lucky or poor? what can she do to deal with all of these things?
She asks people to comment in her blog on this issue.
Soad atFriendship blog discusses ways to choose friends.
The EWAMT bloggers are also discussing other important issues that concern the contemporary Yemeni society.
Rahaf at Sense blog writes about the new method of beggary by employing children. Street children draw more compassion from people and that is why they are prone to exploitation by professional beggars. Aisha thinks that poverty is the main enemy of the children. However, Kholoud opines that:
Street children and the prevalence of child labor .. Is not the result of poverty or poor living conditions and economic situation, but it is in my opinion, reflect a clear picture of the problem of our identity because of the social disintegration and lack of human ties among its members.
In his opinion, this can be overcome if everyone in the community choose to help others.
Jumana describes what is forgiveness:
It is the act of letting go of the past. Forgetting the past. Moving on as if it never happened.
People hurt people everyday, they cause them a lot of pain without even realizing it. Why is that? Why are we focusing on “expressing ourselves” regardless of how it's going to make our loved ones feel. Why are we such control freaks? Why is it that we don't know how to express ourselves without hurting each other? Isn't it time we thought about different ways and approaches?
It's about time we considered each other's well being. It's about time we watched our tongues and spoke only what we've thoroughly thought about. It's about time we stopped causing each other pain and hurt.
Hopeful dreams of a romantic Yemen.
Here are some pictures from the 4th training workshop which took place in early July.
Ghaida'a al_Absi informs that Yemen is suffering from a lot of problems recently, the major ones include, power outages, Internet connection outages. The project scheduled an workshop for 9 trainees in 19-20 August, 2009. The proceedings of the first day was delayed because of a power outage (and lack of generator). The following day the Internet connection was unavailable for a long time, so the workshop had to be postponed till Thursday 27 August, 2009.
We hope that EWAMT will overcome these challenges and bring more Yemeni women in the global conversation which will help them empower themselves.