Houthi and Muslim Brotherhood share violations against women in Yeme: What is Mahram?

  • 2024-03-02 03:08:59


The Houthi group in Yemen uses several techniques to deepen its oppression of women, as it issued a verbal decision in 2019 prohibiting women from traveling without written approval from her husband or father, brother ( Mahram) and the Ministry of Interior.

Then, new restrictions were imposed that prevent women from traveling without a “mahram,” whether traveling through Sana’a airport or between Yemeni cities, depriving women of freedom of movement, and threatening their work and ability to move.

In September 2021, some tribes in Sanaa and the areas under the control of the Houthis issued a customary document whose provisions targeted women and their private freedoms, including preventing them from traveling without a mahram, and not allowing girls to work in humanitarian organizations, because those organizations, according to what was stated in the tribal document “She blackmails them sexually.”

The verbal and tribal formula is an attempt by the Houthis to deny the accusation against themselves by the international community.

Souad (a pseudonym), a feminist activist residing in Sanaa, warned that “the verbal and tribal decisions issued and supported by the Houthis are dangerous and must not be tolerated, because they can disavow them.” If there is an angry reaction, under the pretext that it was not issued by them and is not obligatory, even though they force people to adhere to it.”


“Zeinabiyat”: Houthi women police against women in Yemen

The report of the Ministry of the Yemen Human Rights and Legal Affairs in the internationally recognized government for the year 2023 describes the Houthi decisions as “gender-based violence,” and refers to the “Zainabiyyat” group that the Houthis established in 2014, consisting of extremist women who pursue women in school, university, and even parks and cafes. And public roads, and he was entrusted with carrying out a security mission in transport companies, to restrict the freedom of women, pursue them, and prevent them from traveling; This group is secret and illegal, and is reported to consist of more than 500 women.

In a report issued by the Yemeni Network for Rights and Freedoms in 2022, it documented 1,444 incidents of violation committed by the “Zainabiyyat,” which varied between raids, searches, and kidnapping, and sometimes reached the point of killing and torture inside prisons.


Humantarian Organizations in Yemen comply with the Houthis

The Houthis' decisions affected people's livelihood in light of the difficult economic conditions, as many women lost their jobs, and targeting organizations and their workers threatened families' access to aid and health care provided by these organizations. Other women also lost opportunities to obtain education, training, and qualification inside and outside Yemen.

The United Nations warned on its website in March 2023 that the conditions in Yemen were witnessing further deterioration, restrictions on women being restricted, and discrimination continuing against them.

 ” There are “about 12.6 million women in need of life-saving services in reproductive health and protection.” Of these, 7.1 million need urgent access to services. The mahram regime has limited the ability of women working in the humanitarian field to provide necessary support and assistance.”

Siham (a fictitious name) denounced what she described as the complicity of the organizations in which women work. Instead of supporting women and putting pressure on the Houthis, she demanded that her female employees implement their decisions! She added: “Transport companies and organizations can impose their conditions on the Houthis by easing the restrictions imposed on women, especially since they pay them royalties in large sums of money, as money plays a major role for the Houthis.”

Shuja al-Din also expressed her regret that “some organizations, instead of putting pressure on the Houthis and supporting these girls considering this to be among the human rights values they work by, simply replaced them with young men.”

Religious incitement and violence: The Houthis and the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen share the meaning of “extremism”

The Houthi decision to ban travel except with a mahram aroused the anger of women and organizations. But the group’s leaders and supporters defended him, and even some of the group’s non-supporters defended him because he “preserves women.” But unfortunate is that the same extremist rhetoric is widespread in the city of Taiz, which is under the control of the Islah Party or the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen, in addition to the internationally recognized government.

Some clerics affiliated with the Islah Party are launching a campaign against women in Taiz, especially activists and workers in organizations. These campaigns are led, through mosques and social media, by the two Islamic parliamentarians , Sheikh Abdullah Al-Adini and Muhammad Al-Hazmi, whose sermons are not devoid of incitement against women, accusing them and humanitarian organizations of “implementing Israeli-American plans to destroy the values of society and spread vice.”