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Accepted Paper:

Activism from exile: women, political remittances and peace-building in Yemen  
Ewa K. Strzelecka (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on interviews with Yemeni female activists exiled to the Netherlands, Germany and Jordan following the war of 2014/2015, this paper explores the dynamics between gender, exile, conflict, political remittances and peace-building in Yemen.

Paper long abstract:

The revolutionary process in Yemen has mobilised masses and led to a significant politicisation and polarisation of Yemeni society, including women. Female political activists participated in Yemen’s uprising (2011-12) and in the National Dialogue Conference (2013-2014). However, they have been largely excluded from decision making in the ongoing war that broke out in 2014/15. Up to now, for example, almost no women have been among the negotiators in the U.N.-sponsored peace talks for Yemen. Yet, women leaders have been active to bring about peace. Many of them fled the country following the war of 2014/2015 to continue political activities in exile. Drawing on interviews with the Yemeni female activists who participated in the Yemeni uprising of 2011 and who are currently exiled in the Netherlands, Germany and Jordan, this research paper examines the relationship between exile, activism, gender, conflict and peace-building. It proposes a deeper and more critical understanding of the role of women’s rights activists and refugees in post-revolutionary conflicts and peace processes. The study addresses the specific questions on how the situation of post-revolutionary violence and ongoing war has shaped women’s political participation, and how Yemeni female activists in exile have contributed to peace-building or, on the contrary, exacerbated conflicts in and outside the country. How do they influence homeland politics and peace processes through political remittances? How do the feminist transnational networks in peace-building emerge and endure?

Panel P088a
Resisting Marginalization in Times of Crisis: The Politics of Gender, Race, Religion and Age in the MENA region and beyond I
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -