November 21, 2016
Humanitarian assistance in Yemen has been undermined by ongoing and escalating violence in multiple Governorates earlier this year, extreme constraints on humanitarian access (particularly on access to services, restrictions on movement and interference with humanitarian activities), humanitarian diversion, donors’ failure to meet aid obligations, and ongoing blockages of oil, food and other vital supplies. Particularly in the north of the country, organizations deal with a range of new travel complications as of early 2021. The deteriorating security situation and a new surge of COVID-19 cases amid a fragile health system further contribute to the challenging environment. Discussions on the situation in Yemen have historically failed to reflect critical gender dimensions, despite multiple meetings of the IEG on WPS (S/2019/253, S/2021/264) and briefings by civil society (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). The Council should consider the recommendations made by civil society briefers, the report of the Group of Eminent Experts (GEE), and the Panel of Experts, adding a list of sanctioned individuals and calling on states – including some Council members and their allies – to cease arms transfers and other support to the conflict parties, and to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The Security Council should also consider the recommendations made by civil society representative Najiba Al Naggar, including addressing the full enforcement of the Riyad Agreement and increase efforts to engage parties to the conflict around a ceasefire. In line with resolution 2532 (2020), a ceasefire should support viable conditions for protecting civilians, including women, and lead to a resumption of peace negotiations. The Security Council should call for support for women’s civil society through the provision of core, flexible and long-term funding to women’s rights organizations, and should prompt Member States to urgently discuss the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women, youth and civil society in all processes. Additionally, Council members are encouraged to adopt targeted sanctions in line with resolution 2564 (2021), specifically for violations against women, including those targeting “politically active women”, and must address the Houthis’ ban on contraceptives, efforts to prevent women from working in public spaces, and ad-hoc and arbitrary enforcement of requirements for national female humanitarian staff to travel with a mahram (a male family member). Reporting on the implementation of sanctions should include reporting on GBV. Finally, Council members should support the #NoWomenNoGovernment campaign and denounce the full exclusion of women from the new government formed in December 2020, which marks the first complete exclusion of women in two decades and is counter to the national dialogue outcomes. It is important for Council members to continue to emphasize the necessity of women’s full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership in peace and political processes, ensuring a minimum 30% quota of women in all processes as a matter of urgency. The Council must support Yemen’s National Action Plan on WPS and ensure full funding for its implementation, including by supporting diverse women’s groups, while taking into consideration recommendations brought forward by civil society to strengthen the NAP.