UN Authority Figures

UN Women Executive Board: Yemen

A 13-year-old Yemeni girl died of internal injuries four days after a family-arranged marriage to a man almost twice her age, a human rights group said. The practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen.
Source: The Daily Mail, March 6, 2016

Mission of the UN Women:
"The main roles of UN Women are: To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms; To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society; To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress." (UN Women website)

Yemen's Term of office: 2017-2019

Yemen's Record on Women's rights:
"The law criminalizes rape, but does not criminalize spousal rape because the law states that a woman may not refuse sexual relations with her husband... TThere were no reliable rape statistics, principally because of social stigma, fear of familial and societal retaliation, and a legal system largely stacked against survivors, which limited willingness to report the crime. Most rape victims did not report the crime due to fear of shaming the family, incurring violent retaliation by the perpetrator or a family member, or facing prosecution. By law authorities can prosecute rape victims on charges of fornication if authorities do not charge a perpetrator. There were no known cases during the year. According to law without the perpetrator's confession, the rape survivor must provide four male witnesses to the crime... The penal code, however, allows leniency for persons guilty of committing an "honor" killing or violently assaulting or killing a woman for perceived "immodest" or "defiant" behavior... Victims rarely reported domestic abuse to police. Spousal abuse generally was undocumented, but women's groups asserted that physical, emotional, and sexual abuse within marriage was widespread. The tribal arbitration process rather than criminal courts usually adjudicated cases of violence against women due to the widespread perception, shared by authorities, that violence against women was a private, family matter... Due to social pressures, authorities expected an abused woman to take her complaint to a male relative, rather than to authorities, to intercede on her behalf or provide sanctuary. For these social reasons, as well as the corruption and inefficiency of the justice system, criminal proceedings in cases of domestic abuse were rare... The law does not prohibit female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)... 19 percent of all women aged 15-49 had undergone some form of FGM/C. In some coastal areas influenced by cultural practices from the Horn of Africa, such as Mahara and al-Hudaydah, FGM/C practitioners had subjected up to 90 percent of women reportedly to FGM/C... Cases of "honor" killing--the murder of a daughter or sister who "shamed" the family--occurred, particularly in rural areas. Most cases of honor killing went unreported, and authorities investigated very few instances. There have been reports that family members murdered both male and female victims of rape or sexual abuse who reported the crime, to protect the family's honor. While the law stipulates the death penalty for a man convicted of murdering a woman, the penal code allows leniency for persons guilty of committing an "honor" killing or violently assaulting or killing a woman for perceived "immodest" or "defiant" behavior. The law also allows for a substantially reduced sentence when a husband kills his wife and a man he believes to be involved in an extramarital affair with her. The law does not address other types of gender-based violence such as beatings, forced isolation, imprisonment, and early and forced marriage. Sexual Harassment: No laws specifically prohibit sexual harassment... Sexual harassment in the streets was a major problem for women."
(U.S. State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2015, Yemen)