Yemen is on a path of transformation, one that can open opportunities for more inclusive societies and economies, or for greater risk and regression. This transition period will be especially vital for Yemeni women. As Yemen moves forward, it should strongly prioritize gender equality as an important goal in its own right but also because doing so will be vital to lay the foundations of a more inclusive country and society. The objectives of a new report on the status of gender equality in Yemen are two-fold: first, to take stock of the status of gender outcomes in Yemen and understand the forces that are driving the strong gender inequalities; and second, drawing on these insights and outcomes of the study, to highlight promising areas for policy action in this crucial transition period. The report explores how individual aspirations and opportunities in the areas of education, family formation, and labor force participation are constrained by the severe gender gaps in Yemeni society. The report's analytic approach is unique in threading together three bodies of evidence and analysis to shed new light on significant trends and causes underpinning Yemen s large gender disparities. The report presents: (i) a fresh look at available survey data on human development and socio-economic indicators; (ii) a brief history and in-depth analysis of the most critical legal barriers to women's and girl's full participation in Yemeni society; and (iii) insights from a rich qualitative dataset collected in January 2011. The findings highlight the powerful roles of social norms and legal rights and entitlements in placing women and girls at a disadvantage and constraining not only faster progress on gender equality but also on economic development.
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