Cablegate: Final Report: Democracy Small Grant for the Women's

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A) STATE 187026 B) SANAA 5295

1. (U) Summary: The Women's Integration in Development
Association (WIDA) conducted five workshops on "Democracy
and Human Rights Integration in Local Councils" in five
Governorates, Al-Baida, Taiz, Mahweet, Lahaj and Sanaa in
accordance with the terms of their democracy small grant.
Project's opening of the first workshop was attended by
Under Secretary of Ministry of Social Affairs, Head and
Members of WIDA, local council female members and DCM and
PAS from embassy. End Summary.

2. (U) The first workshop was conducted July 23-25, 2002 in
Radaa city, Al-Baida governorate. The Secretary General of
Local Council, Sheikh Ali Nusairi of Radaa city, Head of
Education Center and others attended the workshop. The
workshop included discussion papers on "Women's Position in
Islam" And "Participation of Women in the Political and
Public Life". Other discussion papers included: "Human
Rights", "Democracy and Women's Role in Democracy
Development", "Study of Women Rights Under The HRC", "Women
and Election", "International Agreement to End
Discrimination Against Women", "Democracy in Yemen and Women
Economical and Political Empowerment". A total of twenty-
three participants attended this workshop and were actively
involved in discussions.

3. (U) The second workshop was conducted on July 10-14, 2002
in Sana'a and attended by the members of the Supreme
Election Committee, member of the Shura Council, the Under
Secretary of Social Affairs, the Deputy Director of the

Yemeni Women's Union, the DCM and members of the Public
Affairs Section from embassy. Mrs. Fatima Huraibi, the Head
of Local Council Committee in Sanaa presented a paper on
"Women's Participation in Local Council". The discussion
paper generated much attention from the 28 participants who
founded the paper inspiring. Participants discussed
difficulties they face as women local council members as
they are breaking into the traditional governmental male
dominant world. Other papers presented were: "Yemeni Women
and Social Culture", "Support Women to Exercise Their Rights
and Role in Society", "NGOs Roles in the Development Process
in a Democratic System", "Disabled Women Rights in the Local
Council Agenda".

4. (U) The third workshop was conducted on July 21-23, 2002
in Haifan, Taiz. The program included paper presentations
and group discussion on "Role of Local Council and Democracy
on Improving Women Issues", "Women's Rights in Islamic
Laws", "Women Self Empowerment", and "Gender and the Social
and Political Roles of Men and Women".

5. The fourth workshop was conducted in September 15-17,
2002 in Mahweet. The Governor of Mahweet, members of the
local council, heads of political parties, educational and
social institutions, PAO John Balian and PAS Salwa Sarhi
from the embassy, attended the workshop opening. PAO and
PAS also attended the first session of the workshop which
included the presentation of a paper by a female member of
the Shura Council on "Roles of Political Parties in the
Promotion of Women's Political Participation". Other
presented papers were "Women Empowerment" and "Local Council
and Democracy".

6. (U) PAO and PAS visited the historical old city of
Mahweet and were hosted by the governor's deputy where the
workshop theme was the topic of discussion. The deputy
expressed his happiness about the workshop and the efforts
made by WIDA to bring women's issues to the front lines. He
also explained that women in Yemen have made a remarkable
progress in the political life, which makes women's
participation in Yemen the best in the region.

7. (U) The fifth workshop was conducted 23-25 September 2002
in Lahaj. The workshop's opening day was attended by the
Lahaj Governor Mansoor Abduljaleel, the Local Council
General Secretary, the General Manager For Social Affairs,
members of the local council, NGOs and others.
Rasheeda Al-Nusairee, WIDA's trainer and deputy director
presented a paper on "Election and Democracy in Yemen".
Other papers presented were "Women Issues and Poverty" by
Dr. Ebtihaj Al-Khaiba an IV participant and a professor at
Aden University. On the third day, a study case presentation
of woman who ran for local council elections and won was
held. The study case presented the woman's experience as a
candidate, as a member of the local council and a decision
maker. Participants enjoyed the study case immensely as it
touched on the most important issue women face when
participating in politics, which is the resistance women
face and the limited social settings for women to express
and participate with men in discussion and decision-making.

8. (U) Outcome: Strengths

Workshops reached 300 women in five governorates and
received attention from officials and civil society.
Some of the speakers were women local council members
which gave participants opportunity to listen to their
experiences and get first hand information of women's
experience in the public and political life.
Several district local council members in each
governorate attended the workshop and benefited from the
subjects presented and the discussions.
Participants' evaluations of the workshops were very
positive. Participants acknowledged their dire need to these
workshops at the governorate levels and the knowledge they
gain from them as they touch upon very important and current
women issues.
Participation of officials in the workshops showed the
government's support for women empowerment and development.
WIDA's capacity and efficiency in conducting the
program in five governorates was evident in the
participants' evaluation of the workshops, media coverage
and visual and written documentation of the program.

9. (U) Outcome: Weaknesses

In Taiz governorate, the workshop faced resistance from
some officials. However, the workshop was well received
among the community.
In Lahaj, the general secretary was assigned to present
a paper. But the paper was presented by someone else which
made discussion of paper subject useless since the general
secretary was not present to respond.

In Mahweet, participants were less outspoken as the
area is still conservative and requires more awareness
programs and advocacy in regards to women participation.

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