In February 2011, a peaceful uprising began in Yemen following the success of Tunisia and Egypt. People in Yemen demanded the construction of a civil democratic and modern state, “where citizens enjoy equality, freedom and dignity.” Government security forces opened fire on the protest square of Taiz in May with missiles and heavy weapons, killing dozens of peaceful protestors. Armed tribes retaliated, and ever since an armed conflict has spread in which massive human rights violations are “systemically perpetrated against youth, women and men who are active in resistance and protests.” However, women have been disproportionately impacted by the conflict, as they have been targeted and threatened, and lack the access to media, social and political support to expose the violations. One group of women activists and lawyers joined together to begin collecting information, documenting human rights violations and publishing reports on the situation; but lacked the finances to sufficiently carry out their work and gain support. To help them in this valuable project, the Maeen Center for Social Development (MCSD) requested funds to assist them in establishing a Women’s Human Rights Observatory in Taiz and enhancing their communication and field capacity in data collection, producing, publishing and widely disseminating information on the human rights situation in the area locally, regionally, and internationally.
MCSD is a human rights organization aiming to raise society’s awareness of human rights and social accountability by supporting citizenship issues of vulnerable individuals and groups, providing legal aid and monitoring and documenting violations.