Barda Podcast | Episode 3 | Yemeni Feminism: Feminists But?

The term feminism appeared at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and with the passage of time, this movement and its demands developed from calling for political reform and equal rights and opportunities, to female freedom, as well as stressing the importance of empowerment and equality in wages and salaries. Today, this movement is presented in a more general and comprehensive way, to include change and equality at various levels. 

Feminism is a socio-political and economic movement that advocates gender justice and is a general call for support and empowerment. 

There is a great deal of confusion around this term globally, let alone at the Arab and local level. Feminists are often accused of being enemies of men or of opposing social values and customs. 

In Yemen, the feminist issue has its various ramifications, starting with the use of everything related to women in religious discourse as a tool for mobilization and fueling, such as the marriage of young girls, education and unequal opportunities, financial capacity, family law and honor crimes. 

With all this momentum, feminist movements emerged calling for equality and justice, but they were attacked in a very exaggerated way by society, as these women were ostracized and bullied, and sometimes there were interferences in their personal lives to blackmail them and silence their voices. 

In our episode today, we will talk about the specificity and nature of Yemeni feminism and its political, social and economic challenges. We will also tackle the issue of women in the tribal society. 

Guest of the episode: Al-Anoud Al-Qaffan Youth activist and conflict analysis consultant who worked as a program coordinator for youth, women and peace programs and is currently a master’s student in management. 


Discussion topics: 

  • The history of Yemeni feminism and its relationship to global feminism. 
  • Yemeni feminism and its specificity and challenges on the political, economic and social levels. 
  • Feminism against the tribal and local society.
  • The future of feminism in Yemen.


Barda Podcast is a production of the Yemen Peace Forum (YPF), facilitated by the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies (SCSS), which aims to create a track II platform for civil society and youth as well as to generate interest and knowledge about Yemeni issues through local voices.

Barda highlights development and community-based projects and initiatives and showcases positive local experiences of Yemeni youth. It also introduces inspiring Yemeni youth role models who have made a difference. Barda focuses on giving space to female role models and groups that are often excluded from discussion platforms.

Safaa Al-Watari
Safaa Al-Watari
Is currently working as a digital project manager in France where she helps companies lead their digital transformation.