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Gender Concerns International/WATAN Coalition-Women for Social Peace (Yemen) (GCI/WATAN)

June 2011

Grant Description

In early 2011, pro-democracy movements began to emerge across the Arab world. In February a peaceful revolution developed in Yemen where, despite the existence of patriarchal social norms, women were at the forefront of the movement and marched alongside men. In April, the president made a public statement condemning women’s participation in the demonstrations, “saying that by mixing with men on the street who were not direct relatives, they were violating traditional Yemeni cultural norms.”” Soon after his announcement, religious extremists began to stalk women protestors, further deterring them from participating in the protests. Fearing that the fate of the country would revert back to male political elites if women ended their participation, Gender Concerns International (GCI) and the Yemeni WATAN Coalition-Women for Social Peace (WATAN) requested urgent funds for WATAN to secure a physical office and provide food and water for women protestors so that they could continue to participate. It also plans to improve its communications strategy so that the women’s movement can develop a visible, unified front in civil society and advocate for gender equality during the country’s transitional political processes.

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