Editorial Note: The
following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may
also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology.
Comments are in parentheses.
Yemeni Women Strengthen Ranks of
October 24, 2011
Women strengthen the ranks of Yemen’s protesters
These Yemeni women, gathered
in Sanaa to celebrate the death of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi,
predict the same fate for Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
A video showing a female protester shot dead by a sniper in the
southern city of Taiz has prompted thousands of women to take to
the streets in Yemen. Our Observers say the participation of
women could breathe new life into the protest movement.
The death of Azizah Othman during an anti-government march could
easily have gone unnoticed in the midst of the bloody repression
currently taking place in Yemen. However the story of this
52-year-old woman, who was shot in the head on October 16 in the
southern city of Taiz, inspired thousands of women to protest
the very next day.
WARNING: THESE IMAGES MAY SHOCK VIEWERS
In Taiz, women marched in memory of one of the city’s first
“female martyrs”, while in the capital Sanaa, women protested
outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the same time, a
rally in support of their cause was held in New York City,
featuring Yemen’s most famous activist, Tawakkul Karman, who is
one of the three women to have received the Nobel Peace Prize
“Today, our role in the revolution
is as important as the role of tribal leaders!”
Doctor Jamila Al-Kameli is an activist who lives in Sanaa,
Yemen’s capital. I took part in the womens’ protest in front of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sanaa. During our protest we
too were attacked by [president Ali Abdullah] Saleh’s thugs even
though we were absolutely peaceful. We still don’t know whether
the sniper who killed Aziza Othman specifically targeted her or
not, but we’re convinced that he had decided to target a woman.
Our demands are the same as those of other protesters: we want
Saleh to step down and we want greater freedom of expression.
Life has changed quite a bit for women since the start of the
revolt in February. Before, it was nearly impossible for a woman
to go out and do her grocery shopping alone…
Today, our role in the revolution is just as important as the
role of the tribal leaders! People see us differently; they
realise it is impossible to carry out a revolution without the
help of half of the population. I heard about the rally in New
York City with Tawakkul Karman. We consider her to be a true
lady. She is educated and shows others that change can be
achieved through the written word and the spoken word, and in a
peaceful manner. The truth is, all Yemeni women know how to use
firearms, but we have chosen to remain peaceful.”
“The longer Saleh hangs on to power, the
more brutal his methods become”
Maryam Ali is a muslim feminist from Yemen. She currently
lives in London. I believe the aim of the sniper who killed
Aziza Othman was to intimidate Yemeni women and stop them from
protesting. We have come to realise that the longer Saleh hangs
on to power, the more brutal his methods become; the regime is
now attacking women and young children. However, Othman’s murder
will not deter women. On the contrary, it will incite many
Yemeni women to go out and voice their anger in the streets.
This movement is becoming international now: we’re planning a
large demonstration on October 30 in London’s Trafalgar Square
to condemn Othman’s murder and show our solidarity with women in
Women protesting Aziza Othman's
killing in Taiz.
Above, anti-government protesters
meet in Yemen's capital Sanaa following the death of Libya's Muammar
Gaddafi. Photos courtesy of
This site contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance
understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic,
democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this
constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for
in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
Section 107, the material on this site is
distributed without profit to those
who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information
for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of
your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the
expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors
and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & ccun.org.