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Year: 2014 Type: Book Chapter Language: English

This chapter discusses the processes that led to the promulgation of the two Yemeni family codes of 1974 in the South and 1992 after the Unification. The author will look from a larger societal perspective at who the actors were in drafting the codes and what kind of public debates were allowed as part of the two processes. In particular, she will discuss the theoretical implications of a development gone reverse; does modernisation always bring women more rights? What kind of rhetoric a state has to turn into when it takes away women rights that gained popular approval?

Present day Yemen is experiencing times of great transformations where people-led revolution which started in 2011 is still unfolding and struggling for democracy, accountable governing institutions, equal rights for citizens from different regions, and social justice for the Yemeni people, most of whom have been plagued by poverty and different forms of violence. Gender justice is part of what many Yemeni women’s rights groups and individual activists believe is the new Yemen that they are seeking to build through the revolution. Yet these revolutionary times have their challenges.

At these times of great changes, it is important to take stock of past national experiences and projects and their entanglement with struggles for gender rights through family law reform. Hence, this chapter is very much relevant to the present day Yemen. 

Resource is unavailable online, but can be viewed at the British Library of Development Studies in Brighton,