Policy brief # 6

Enhancing the Participation of Rural Women Producers in Cooperatives in Yemen

This policy brief aims to contribute to the ongoing debate over the role of cooperatives in generating employment and income earning opportunities for women in Yemen and elsewhere in Arab States.

It is often argued that rural women in the region are more empowered than their urban counterparts as they work in the fields side by side by with men. Yet their work remains mainly unpaid. Early marriage and lack of access to basic social services and land are pressing issues in rural areas, especially for young women. Economic progress for women in these settings is also hampered by lack of access to skills and training. Rural women have limited contact with agricultural extension service providers who often tend to be men, compared with rural men. Knowledge on new technologies is rarely transferred to women. Often such knowledge tends to turn a blind eye to the workload, constraints and responsibilities of rural women.