On June 22, the Yemen Polling Center (YPC) released its new policy brief towards a (Gender) Equality Department at the MoI. Written by YPC-consultant Marie-Christine Heinze, an independent researcher from the University of Bonn, this policy brief is a result of YPC's ongoing project on Security Sector Governance. The project is funded by the European Union in the framework of its Stability Instrument and aims at giving society a voice in the ongoing reform of the security sector as part of the transition process.
Past project components have included a nation-wide survey on public security perceptions and perceptions of the police, whose findings were published in January 2013. Moreover, YPC has held two workshops which brought together members of the Restructuring Committee of the Ministry of Interior, policemen and policewomen, civil society activists, and journalists to discuss problems of security provision to society on the ground. This policy brief, moreover, is the result of a larger policy report on Integrating Women's Security Interests into Police Reform in Yemen, co-authored by Marie-Christine Heinze and Sarah Ahmed (YPC), which will be published later this June.
Addressing women's security issues in particular, this policy brief argues that most cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in Yemen go unreported as these usually occur within the family and as the security of women and girls is generally considered a family affair. They also and more significantly go unreported because women and girls have no-one to turn to outside their family if they want to escape continued abuse. In order to be able to cater to the special security concerns of women and girls the Yemeni police thus has to increase the number of policewomen in general as well as the number of policewomen in higher ranks. The police forces also have to receive better and more comprehensive training on GBV and they have to establish lasting links to shelter homes as well as civil society. Therefore, in order to consistently implement these requirements, the Ministry of Interior should establish a (Gender) Equality Department in the office of the Inspector General, a suggested structure for which is outlined in the brief.
The brief was circulated to the following institutions, among others: the National Dialogue Conference; the Ministry of Interior; the Restructuring Committee of the Ministry of Interior; policemen and policewomen; and national and international organizations working in this field.
The full policy brief can be downloaded from here.
Source: Yemen Polling Center