An international organization: Houthi restrictions and defamation are the most prominent violations against women journalists in Yemen

English - السبت 11 مارس 2023 الساعة 05:43 م
Mocha, NewsYemen:

 The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said: The restrictions of the terrorist Houthi militia against women's freedom and defamation through social media are among the most prominent violations that female journalists have been subjected to in Yemen, noting that female journalists in Yemen, Tunisia and the Palestinian territories are the only ones to face attacks and harassment due to their journalistic work.

In a report entitled "It is not your profession" launched on the occasion of International Women's Day, the observatory indicated that the decrease in the number of female journalists being arrested compared to the number of male journalists is due to the fact that the number of registered female journalists in Yemen is much lower than male journalists.

According to the report, the number of female journalists registered and organized by the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate is about 170 out of 1,500 journalists, or only 11% of the total number of journalists affiliated with the Syndicate, in addition to the limited opportunities provided to them and the double self-censorship they face due to cultural and societal pressures.

The report stated that one of the most prominent violations against female journalists in Yemen are the restrictions and obstacles that limited women's freedom, including the right to movement and work, noting that the terrorist Houthi militia issued an official decision banning the movement of women without a male escort (Mahram).

Despite government statements rejecting this decision and the previous Houthi restrictions that limited women's freedom, the report said that all parties to the conflict have adopted the Houthi decision and that the vast majority of journalistic institutions in Yemen have refrained from hiring or dealing with female journalists, and have relied on males journalists, because of the difficulty for females journalists to move around and doing their work without escorts, or without obtaining official work permits.

The report believes that this affected not only women's work, but also journalistic work in Yemen as a whole.

The report stated a statement by the Yemeni journalist, Wedad Al-Badawi, in which she said, "Although all parties to the conflict differ in all matters, they agree together against women and their freedom. The restrictions imposed on women's movement and the work of female journalists affected the accuracy of the testimonies that are collected, as some women in local conservative communities  prefers to give their testimonies and conduct interviews comfortably for women journalists, not for men.

The report stated that Yemeni female journalists are subjected to stigmatization and defamation through social networking sites, which are used as a weapon to fight them by almost all parties to the conflict in case they are criticized.

The report indicates that in recent years there have been many campaigns of defamation of female journalists, insults and manipulation of their images in several cases, which prompted them to face a new battle.  It is the society’s view of them, social ostracism, and telling them that “journalism is not your profession,” according to female journalists interviewed by the Euro-Mediterranean, in addition to the resulting family pressures.

The report added, "As a result, many Yemeni female journalists were forced to deactivate their pages on social media and remain silent, in order to avoid harassment or attacks. Some of them abandoned journalism and pursued other fields, while others preferred emigration to protect themselves and their families."

In the report, which also dealt with the most prominent violations against women journalists in Tunisia and the Palestinian territories, the Euro-Mediterranean Monitor called on the United Nations and its relevant bodies to establish independent accountability mechanisms to investigate and hold accountable the perpetrators of systematic violations against women journalists in Yemen, Tunisia and the Palestinian territories, to ensure justice for them, and to protect their rights for freedom of expression and journalistic work

He called for an end to arbitrary and unjustified restrictions on women's rights in Yemen, including the right to work as a journalist, freedom of movement and freedom of expression, cooperation with women journalists and facilitating their journalistic work, and stopping withholding information from them and obstructing their efforts.