“May God protect you, [you are] sexy and hot.” “Your looks do not represent Yemen, Islam or chaste women.” “I am waiting for you tomorrow at 7 p.m.to have dinner and a drink, so we can relax, and then I will proceed with your employment process.” These are some examples of harassment, an issue tackled by Yemeni Hind al-Nusairi, 23, in an article titled “The Struggle of a Free Woman in Yemen.” The article won first prize in a competition on the topic of gender-based violence organized by the Cairo Center for Development and Human Rights.
As the family’s opposition grew even more, I decided to live with my brother in a separate home.” The family was not satisfied with this step and with the fact that “I go in the street without a veil, and publish my photos on social networking sites and newspapers.Harassment has spread in Yemen in “an alarming way,” as 26-year-old Farida Ali affirmed.“Veiled women are faced with upsetting verbal harassment, let alone unveiled women.She said that girls who were used to sitting between four walls would not be able to feel their freedom.For her part, Shamsan stressed that economic independence of women would help promote their self-confidence and their will to search for freedom.According to researchers, laws alone will not pave the way for freedoms.
This change needs a cultural transformation among women themselves.
When she graduated from high school, she worked in a coffee shop and enrolled in college to study English literature, a step the family strongly opposed.
“I insisted on my right to choose my life’s path,” she said.
These women are unveiled; they do not wear the black cloak, and their looks do not align with custom.
They are merely trying to gain the basic liberties of women, and they are faced with familial and societal obstacles.
She considered Islamic misconceptions to be the most prominent obstacle facing Yemeni women in their quest toward freedom and equality.