SANAA - Feeling excluded and robbed of their most basic and inherent rights, a Yemeni activist has launched a campaign to promote a fairer treatment of women in Yemen as enshrined in the Noble Qur'an and Islamic teachings.
The Qur'an clearly states that women are an important part of society, protecting their rights well beyond western standards, Amal Hassan, a young Yemeni activist, told OnIslam.net.
Amal, who was a victim of marital abuses, has founded an NGO titled Haraer (Free Women in Arabic) to promote rights of women as enshrined in Islam.
She says the NGO aims to free women from the shackles of unfair laws which promote a biased interpretation of the Qur'an.
Women in Islam are viewed as the very pillars of society, potent beings and valuable assets, said Amal, whose story dominated Arab and foreign media over her struggle to free herself from an unhappy and abusive marriage.
Instead the judiciary in Yemen prefers to enslave them in a system which benefits men.
Amal says her NGO will work to promote a fairer and un-discriminatory culture in Yemen.
Activists say that women in Yemen suffer from deep discrimination and marginalization.
Excluded and robbed of their most basic and inherent rights, women suffer from deep rooted socially tolerated abuse, leading often to psychological scarring.
Amal plans to bring together judges, tribesmen and ordinary people to change laws that infringe on women's rights.
We recognize as a major problem the sagging of the judicial system in Yemen and the constitution which emptied Islam's fairness by misinterpreting our religion, especially when it comes to family law and women's rights, she said.
Laws were based on discriminatory grounds which are incompatible with human rights.
Amal says the initiative includes Muslim scholars to help promote a better treatment of women in Yemen.
Knowing that the victims of this phenomenon are women and children, we will spare no effort in trying to push for better laws, she told OnIslam.net.
In our campaign we are keen in particular to ensure real changes to the Yemeni constitution, and we will not stop there as we continue to press the Yemeni government to apply the law.
Most importantly will be the involvement of Islamic clerics and intellectuals to promote, discuss and find solutions for Yemeni women, who constitute half the population.
Amal believes that the discrimination against women in Yemen emanates from the lack of awareness in the society.
We seek to reflect our desire for justice and to reject any misinterpretation of our religion by some people in a male dominated society, showing their ignorance, she said.
In our campaign we emphasize the fact that without justice for women and without the real participation of women in all walks of life we can't achieve our civil state.
That is why women have to fight hard for their basic rights; they deserve peace of mind and security to ensure real integration into Yemeni society and enable them to take part in helping Yemen to move forward.
Human Rights Minister, Hooria Mashour agrees.
We identified the need for the entire community to work together rather than against each other, she said.Since Islam already explicitly states women rights, we are merely trying to apply those very principles and to fight tradition and misconceptions.