Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Of ambition, opportunity and pretence : the politics of gender in Yemen
Author: Al-Sakkaf, Nadia
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 4708
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Yemen has continuously been one of the worst places worldwide in terms of women’s rights in education, health, and the economy, according to international development indicators. It is puzzling that this is the country’s reality despite the fact that during the last two decades, Yemen witnessed a surge of high-level appointments of women in key decision-making positions, the creation of several women-related national institutions, and the implementation of various women’s empowerment policies. This research attempts to address this puzzle by investigating the failure of women’s empowerment policies in Yemen between 2006 and 2014 in health, education, and the economy, from the perspectives of the women leaders themselves, who are at the forefront of the women’s empowerment efforts in the country. To demonstrate their failure, I first review the state’s gender policies, using policy mapping, to identify trends and measure their success drawing on existing policy evaluation approaches. Next, I present empirical findings collected through a mixed-method approach, which notably include descriptive-statistical analysis of surveys and qualitative examination of elite interviews. This research investigates feedback from leading Yemeni women, who are the main drivers behind gender equality in Yemen, and who were directly involved in women’s empowerment efforts in the researched time frame. Using women’s empowerment’s agency-structure framework, I investigate the relevance of: lack of capacity of women leaders, political and economic instability, and the culture of political support, to policy success. I argue that all three factors contributed to the failure of women’s empowerment policies through sub-mechanisms, however, the culture of political support – or lack thereof, had the highest explanatory power of the three factors. This research departs from existing scholarly work on Yemeni women’s empowerment in that it focuses on the experiences of the women leaders as champions of the empowerment agenda, while also acknowledging the importance of the socio-political context in which they operated. This research provides gender policy makers with insights into the practical implications of gender policies in conservative societies such as Yemen, by addressing sustainability and impact of women’s empowerment efforts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral