Yemen: Women Wrestling with War
- NassimaNassima, a forty-year-old mother of two (Jana, 8 years and Moussa, 5 years), says: “My husband, who works abroad, used to send us money just to make ends meet and I used to borrow from friends and neighbors. Now I can earn enough money and even save some for the coming days.” She is now better off after launching her small business, making delicious traditional pickles. “I hope that my daughter and son finish their university education; I don’t want them to grow up illiterate as I am,” she adds.
- SalamaThe major shock for Salama, a thirty-year-old woman, came to her when she lost the father of her three young daughters in the current war. “We used to feel safe when my husband was here. He died and our life has changed completely.” Salama had to face the adversity; she was determined to make her own future and her daughters’; she decided to tailor clothes, weaving hope into her family’s life. In a bright tone and with a determined look she says: “I had no choice but working for the sake of my daughters. My niece taught me how to sew; I got a manual sewing machine and started to mend neighbours’ old clothes.” She added confidently: “I can now design and tailor dresses. I became well-known and succeeded in attracting more clients. Hopefully, one day I will sell dresses I make to city shops.”
- NafissaMaking incense and fragrant body lotion was Nafissa’s passion and dream. After her husband’s retirement and under the harsh conditions brought by war, her dream became necessary in order for her family to survive. “We were no longer able to provide our family with the basic needs after my husband’s retirement,” Nafissa, a mother of five, says. She smells of the various scents that have become her new companions in her life journey. “Now, we are better off, and I can afford my basic needs in addition to my kids’ learning fees and my sick daughter’s medications,” she adds.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) helps these women and a number of families in Yemen, especially those families whose sole providers are women; the ICRC supports their small businesses to ensure a sustainable helping source of income for those families. However, thousands of families are still unable to shoulder the financial burdens under the continuous armed conflict. Yemenis need the current conflict to reach an end in order to rebuild their lives by themselves and ensure a decent life for their families.