Stop Travel Ban on Women’s Rights Advocate

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Target: Matthew H. Tueller

Goal: Lift the unjust travel ban placed on a women’s rights advocate.

A prominent women’s rights advocate has been barred from traveling outside of Yemen. The ban will prevent her from going abroad and attending political conferences and peace discussions.

Yemen officials have recently shut down human rights organizations and arrested several leading activists. Dr. Shafiqa al-Wahsh, director of Women’s National Committee of Yemen, is a proponent of raising awareness on the effects armed conflict has over women. She has recently been banned from traveling outside her native country, although the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights grants every citizen the right to exit a country unless they pose a threat to national security. Preventing Dr. al-Wahsh from traveling could limit diversity in contributors for peace negotiations regarding the current armed conflicts in Yemen. According to Human Rights Watch, new research suggests that “women’s meaningful participation in negotiations improves chances that a peace agreement will last longer.”

Political dialogue and discussions are only effective if an entire population is considered. Women must be able to participate in the conversation without unjust retribution from the government. Demand that Yemen authorities lift the travel ban and allow their female citizens an equal voice during peace negotiations.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Tueller

A women’s rights activist has been banned from traveling outside of Yemen. Shafiqa al-Wahsh is a leading advocate for female involvement in political decisions and works to ensure that the entirety of Yemen’s population is considered when making national decisions.

In Yemen’s currently unstable national climate, it’s necessary to consider diverse voices when discussing possible solutions. The travel restrictions placed on Shafiqa al-Wahsh make a public statement against open communication for every type of group and this may hinder the effectiveness of negotiations. New research suggests that peace negotiations sustain over a longer period of time if women participate in them.

Yemeni women are living in the same wavering political environment as male citizens. Not allowing them to express their opinions or contribute in political discussions will be detrimental for the country as a whole. Better decisions are made when multiple perspectives are considered, especially the perspectives of such a large part of a country’s population. We urge you to help lift the travel ban on Shafiqa al-Wahsh and push for women’s rights in Yemen.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Steven Evans

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