November 21, 2016
The Security Council’s discussions on the situation in Yemen have historically failed to reflect critical gender dimensions, despite multiple meetings of the Security Council Informal Expert Group on WPS (S/2017/627, S/2017/1040, S/2019/253) and briefings by civil society in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. The Council should consider the report of the Group of Eminent Experts (GEE), which called for accountability for gross violations of human rights, including gender-based violence. The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the already fragile health infrastructure in Yemen, has resulted in a fatality rate that is ten times higher than the global average. Ongoing violence, including the recent escalation in Hudaydah and the explosion at the airport in Aden, has undermined humanitarian actors’ ability to provide necessary assistance. This violence, combined with donors’ failure to meet aid obligations, and ongoing blockages of vital supplies, move millions of Yemenis closer to starvation. In its discussion, the Council should focus on the urgency of upholding and supporting a sustainable and nationwide ceasefire in line with resolution 2532 (2020) that would support viable conditions for protecting civilians, including women, prioritizing the release of women arbitrarily detained without conditions, enabling the delivery of humanitarian aid and lead to a resumption of peace negotiations. The Council must continue to emphasize the necessity of women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in formal peace and political processes, as well as in parallel or complementary processes taking place at the local level, ensure no less than the 30% quota of women in all processes as a matter of urgency, and further support women’s calls for local ceasefire in Marib. The Council should also support the Riyadh peace agreement signed in November 2019 and prioritize women’s calls to relocate military camps and depots from cities. Finally, the international community must support Yemen’s NAP on WPS and ensure full funding for its implementation, including by supporting diverse women’s groups.