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الاثنين, 10, نوفمبر, 2014
كُتب بواسطة : لازمين عبدالولي قائد عبدالله

 

 

Master Thesis submitted by the student

Lazmeen Abdulwali Qaed Abdullah

 

 

Supervised by:

Dr. Mohammed Muqbel saif

 

 

A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master Degree of Feminist’s studies and Development from Woman’s Research & Training Center

 

 

Aden – 2014, A.D. – 1435, H.

 

 

 

 

Abstract

The Rights of Women in the Labor Legislation of Yemen from a Gender Perspective

Women as one of the elements that constitute a significant value in the community. And have a very great importance in the community. They constitute the basic element in it. However, the chronicle course of events make women the weak element deprived of many basic rights. If we want to search this from the angle of gender must be anchored in the search component of women not only for the reasons mentioned above, but also for their importance in the life of the community, that constitute half of the primary and main component. Gender as a modern term has emerged to the apparent and began to be used widely in the late twentieth century, and is intended in the framework of linguistic (sex) any combination of the concept of man (male) and women (female) in one term is termed as sex, and became used to denote any kind of social gender in terms of ideology distinguished it from the kind of biological standpoint.

    Recent history of human society has not  witnessed social and ideological conflict as what is  in the field of women's work. And may it took a long time to persuade peoples and thinkers to believe in the importance of women's work and their participation in the development process. The political and liberal revolutions has contributed with its ideas that are consistent with the justice and equity look of Islam to women's work, in establishing these believes. Then the conflict turned into what is permissible and non-permissible in the women's work, especially those which related to state and making-decision, many enemies of Islam have made this conflict as a gateway to criticize  and interpreted incorrectly to derogating the greatness of Islam as a religion of rights and feminist. This has had a direct impact on the interpretation of political administration toward deny this right in many countries.

In general, any controversy or debate on the theme of women will be rich controversial and remains a historical successive landmark case cannot be resolved mostly, only by struggle hard and very hard. As long as this issue has been under discussion among the many conflicting visions, like what is happening in Arab societies that restricted women's work historically in the corner of the farm and the home , which drains all her physical and psychological energy  without giving her the most basic rights.

    At the level of the Republic of Yemen, Yemen and its ancient history  witnessed the presence of a permanent and effective participation of women. There  are  names of Yemeni women dovetailed composed Periods of prosperity and development, such as Balqis-the great biblical queen- of Sheba, and Arwa Ahmed Sulayhi. Despite centuries of fragmentation, underdevelopment, and colonialism, Yemen lost those centuries of prosperity, and returned it to the stages of underdevelopment and dependency of society in general, and the Yemeni women in particular. And even more severe and harsh. But Yemeni women did not lie down for this. But so long  woman struggled  hard for the sake of liberation from all forms of inherited backwardness and was able to find her high position in the society.

Yemeni authority endeavored to recognize the right of women to work, and confirmed on this right. And decided laws of many controls and rules which aims to grant women's right to work without discrimination, and its provisions were included details of women's right to work and have ensured that right in a manner that is not inconsistent with the principle of equality.

In spite of this, we find that gender equality in the workplace unrealized  realistically, since women often hold lower-level jobs and earning less than men in many jobs.

    According to what is above, the subject of our research focused  in studying  women's rights in the labor legislation of Yemen and how to organize and practice by Yemeni women and compared it with some Arab legislation. In this study we reached some outcomes, results and recommendations that perhaps contribute to the legislative reforms in these laws so as to ensure fairness in terms of women's rights.

This study includes  three chapters as follows :

Chapter One : It held the title of "women's rights in ancient civilizations and monotheistic religions":

The  researcher began  the study by addressing  the issue of women's rights in search of ancient civilizations and clarified the political, economic, and social situation, which was experienced by the communities in which ancient civilizations reached out to certain levels of development in various fields. It also examined the status of women in these societies of ancient civilizations and which proved to be uneven from one community to another, as she was placed in better position in one community than in another one.

    The status of women differed from one society to another, according to their position in it. Women of the ruling class and their ilk have a better position than those who belong to the lower governed classes, as it was showed in the Romanian and Greek civilization and civilizations of the East, such as India and China. In  ancient Yemen, the situation or position occupied by women is different from those in other communities of this contemporary civilization. Women in ancient Yemeni society had attained  as much of a preference and freedom, as well as practiced trade and financial business, also women had practiced fortune-telling function in the temples, and joined the military corps, as it was showed in ancient Yemeni inscriptions.

    The researcher also examined the status of women in the monotheistic religions, the Torah and the Bible and Holy Koran. It showed the importance that these religions are granted to women, and honor which was approved by Islam for women and given rights to have the prestige and legal status in the Muslim community. Among the rights granted by Islam for women are: free will, the right to work, and some financial rights, such as inheritance and others.

The second chapter : It is titled "Women's Rights in the Covenants and International Conventions and National Constitutions".

The researcher in the study has clarified  women's rights in international covenants and conventions since the beginning of its existence until now. And highlighted the contents of these legal documents which include special rights of women in various fields and level , and has been ratified by most countries of the world. And the role of the world in the development of legal rules to protect women, whether worker or a housewife or in other conditions. The international community has attempted to protect working women from running in unfavorable conditions and  which are not commensurate with their biology; and in cases where she is practiced her job as a mother, such as the case of pregnancy, childbirth and lactation, protect them from harmful actions or burdensome such as business at night and heavy work or protect her from exposure to toxic chemicals. These treaties and international conventions outlawed the employment of women in these circumstances in order to preserve her health, which may be reflected on the performance of her role as a mother and wife. Also included in these treaties legal rules to protect women from discrimination based on race, sex, religion and others. Also protect her against violence in all its forms, whether at the household level or at the level of society. The researcher also showed  a reflection of these treaties and international conventions in national constitutions of the states that have signed the Convention, and offered some of the texts of Arab constitutions which provided legal rules to protect women in any job along with working as a worker or a mother and wife. Then the researcher in this chapter showed the situation of working women in Yemen, and defined the terms  "work" and "right to work", Then the researcher came to  study  the situation that surrounds the working women and the obstacles that stand in their way; whether these constraints in the application of laws that include protection rules for her, as well as political, economic, social and cultural conditions which hinder the progress of Yemeni women, particularly in the area of ​​contribution in economic and social development, and the features that characterize the Yemeni tribal society, which together with the circumstances has been another obstacle faced her, despite all the laws issued by the State for the protection of women and highlighted those obstacles.

The third chapter : is titled by "rights of working women in the labor legislation of Yemen and obstacles to the application".

 The researcher in this chapter, explained  the rights granted by the State for Yemeni women in the labor laws and labor legislation, as a "Yemeni Service Law, the" Labor Law" , the" Law on Insurance and Pensions",  "Social Insurance Act", and the "Health Insurance Act", as well as the implementing regulations for some of these laws.

    The researcher studied these rights after being divided into two types of rights. The rights of General (gender rights) which is awarded to the women as well as to the man, and specific  rights which belong to women only. It summed up by the legislature because of their biological nature, such as the right for pregnancy leave, childbirth leave and lactation leave. As well as the right to leave in the event of the death of her husband. Also  their right for not to engage in nighttime employment and other rights. Through this study the researcher identified  that there is a lack of legislation to codify some of the rights and emphasize on them, in addition to the presence of antagonism in some legal articles on women rights, which led the researcher  to come up with some results that necessitated the researcher to develop recommendations thereon to the legislator in Yemen to avoid this shortcoming.

In this chapter, the researcher also studied impediments of applying these rights by those who are responsible to do so, and the obstacles that face women in practice their rights, which stipulated by this legislation. The researcher explained these constraints on all levels and characteristics of Yemeni society. Then she offered the recommendations which they can help to avoid these obstacles, and provide women some facilities to practice their rights in the field of work. As well as the right to contribute in  sustainable development and participate in the advancement of this nation towards  the better.

1- Historical and Religious Factor:

Through the historical evolution of women's rights across ancient civilizations and monotheistic religions, it has been shown that women have passed periods  where their rights were wasted, and her status are un-considerable, as we show that the Egyptian civilization was the forerunner in giving women a high position which reached the status did not reach to women in any another civilization. As it turns us from viewing the status of women in monotheistic religions, although monotheistic religions preserved for women's rights, but she continued to suffer from the same inhumane treatment that  experienced in the past, According to Islam in equated between men and women in rights and freedoms, as well as  in take the consequences and responsibilities. And establishing the foundations of what is known today as human rights before it is know by the man-made laws.

2- Legislative and Legal Factor:

Yemeni women got legislative – legal gains, that have had a positive impact in contributing to the significant changes in their economic, social, and political conditions, and their entering the field of development. However, the problem in the  legislative and legal field with regard to the scope of women's work, is in the application and the actual practice of various rights, making a clear gap between the legal text and its practical application.

    Therefore, the challenges that face the women in this aspect, lies in the lack of awareness of, or limitations on the constitutional and legal rights of women, whether she is educated or illiterate, because of her ignorance the various rights given to her by legislations and laws. Awareness of the laws is the first step on sticking to the right and the adherence to duty, in addition to the lack of participation in the drafting of legislation and laws, especially those which are related to their Humanities and Social issues as well as issues of personal, such as the issues of motherhood and childhood, and the issues of their personal situations. The participation in the formulation of these laws should prevent a lot of shortcomings . As well as the absence of specific legislation prohibiting violence against women. Therefore, establishing of legislative controls in this area, will achieve the protection of women from many forms of abuse and injustice. Also the absence of legal entities for revise and follow-up. As well as  advise and guide women, also to have a firm attitude against obstacle women to gain their legal rights. Therefore the absence of community awareness of women's rights and  their  advanced roles in  the development of community, also non-activation of legislation and laws which support women participation in political life, hampered their efforts and activities.

3- Political Factor:

Political factors of Yemeni women are not tied to certain laws and political practices only, but also to the tribal culture, customs and traditions, which reduce the value of women  political presence, and call to make politics purely as men affair.

As a result, women face a lot of difficulties and obstacles that prevent their access to reach decision-making positions. The most important of these difficulties are the social and cultural obstacles. Also the spread of illiteracy among women, as well as  low rates of enrollment of girls for education, and the lack of government support for activities that promote the women's level, which must be adequate with the  importance of their role in development. Also the failure to provide facilities that made her do not find time to participate in political life, and the weakness of the effectiveness of civil society organizations in support their rights, and duplication in the positions of the parties when dealing with women's issues.

4- Economic Factor:

    Yemen's economy suffered several difficulties that affected its performance, and reducing  the standard of living of the population, as well as reducing the income level, so to counter this situation the state has pursued a program of economic and administrative reform in the development plans and programs, in order to take advantage of the energies of economic and human resources.

    Since the power of women's work and their integration into the development is one of the main axes of assessing the level of application of equality between males and females. Therefore she assumed roles and responsibilities multiply, along with their reproductive roles, which required that she work outside to help her family. But they faced many obstacles and challenges related inequalities gender in the labor market and employment, which reflected negatively on her limited participation in economic activity. This limitation of women's participation  back to a number of reasons, direct and indirect, the most notably one is the high rates of illiteracy among women, and their low education level, and lack of skills; However, these reasons in turn represent utterly to value judgments and cultural factors, present in the perception of inferiority of women, and the traditional value orientations outs for their participation in the activities of the public domain, and mixing with others.  the effects of this traditional masculine culture has exceeded the sphere of family, and extended to include the regulation of official modern governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Employers and business managers of private enterprise, they tend to run the men without women for non-objective reasons (social and cultural), and the officials and decision-makers in the administrative apparatus of the state are biased in favor of men. These situations are strengthened due to limited investment in areas and sectors favorable and appropriate to the work of women. Add to this. That women suffer constantly from a lack of rehabilitation and training, especially since the qualification and training are very important to develop competencies and skills which is an essential demand in the labor market.

5- In Protective Measures for Working Women in the Internal Regulations and International Conventions :

    Working women gained the attention of international and Arabs labor organizations, as well as legislation in comparative law. Women were given recognition for their role and physiological nature, and put some restrictions on their work, as it was banned by doing the arduous and dangerous jobs, and working at night in order to reconcile work and family and protect her and her children, as the prohibition of night work for women in some circumstances and events. As we approached accrued leave for both men and women as workers so that labor laws include both of them under the term of worker. It turns out that the Yemeni legislator has decided to protect working women in the case of pregnancy and childbirth, so he put some of  provisions that are intended to provide greater protection for their families, in regard to her children and husband, also to have the right for periods of breast-feeding for her child, also obliged the employer to provide nurseries for the care Children working women at his institution. It also shows us that the legislator took into account that  conditions of marriage or pregnancy or childbearing may force her to leave work for full-time to the affairs of the family. Therefore he decided to have the right to terminate the employment contract in her choice, whether the contract is a fixed-term or non fixed-term. The legislator also took into account the economic circumstances surrounding the family of working woman  and the woman herself, so he gave her the right of combining between  her pension and salary owed ​​to or between different pension, also passed on to their children the right  to combine the livelihood of their mother and father.

    According to these rules on the protection of working women,  we find that these rules offer some protection aspects with regard to the children and women. Despite the fact that these rules do not ensure women  full protection. However, there is a part of the women workers permanently excluded from any protection, as they are expressly excepted from the labor law, such those who  work  in pure agricultural work in rural areas.

Recommendations:

    After studying the subject of research and reached to results  that are mentioned above. The researcher suggests  a number of recommendations which have been listed as follows:

1.  To seek removing all forms of discrimination against women that limit their empowerment and integration in the development process, as they are the most segments of society affected and disadvantaged. As well as  more attention should be given  to addressing the situation of women and understanding of the specificity of the relationship remoteness humanitarian, through the embodiment of document human rights "CEDAW", so as to ensure activated in the areas of legislative, legal, which would limit the brunt of women's  suffering from violence.

2.  To focus on women's rights that are enshrined in the Constitution and laws, then regulate and activate them in order to transfer  them from the theoretical realm to the practical realm, especially those that promote women's economic roles which is the rights to educate, work and their right for maternal and child care.

3.  To expand  the social insurance coverage to cover all trades and professions in the public, private and mixed sectors, and codify the health insurance for women workers and their children in their work place, as well as the insurance for motherhood, childhood, and unemployment. Also reduce the retirement age for working women.

4.  To eliminate illiteracy among women and increase the directed possibilities and efforts. And create a supportive incentives to enroll, so as to raise the women's participation in all areas of development.

5.  Expanding the field of technical education and vocational training, particularly in rural areas, and encourage women to join this kind of education which meet the needs of current and future business market, through encouraging women to engage in vocational and technical institutes, which qualify them to perform their role in the process of economic development in their community.

6.  To increase the size of projects and programs that fall under the social safety net, and which would help to alleviate the poverty of women, and develop lending  and funding policies, and circulate them in all areas, particularly in rural areas, and provide women the necessary facilities for succeeding their small projects.

7.  To raise the level of women's organizations awareness of the importance of cooperation and coordination of their attitude among themselves to form a pressure group for effective advocacy and support for women's issues. Also to increase women's representation in the various elected and non-elected bodies in the State.

8.  To educate community's members in general, and the men in particular to recognize the importance of women's participation in the development process, and regarded this as a fundamental issue has its effects on society. 

9.  To intensify and unify efforts among non-governmental organizations and civil communities, for the advancement of the status of women and make them aware of their rights and duties, so as to contribute effectively in all economic, social, and political activities, which would achieve the development of comprehensive community, and strengthen women's position in all departments and institutions, and their effective participation in the decision-making.

10.  To remove all legal and procedural obstacles and barriers that prevent women win jobs versus their male counterparts, that 's through the development of systems and labor legislation and civil service, such matter should not be the decision of the employer. But preferably the conditions and rights of Joining work, should be according to  laws which apply to everyone.

11.  To establish the principle of equality in opportunities between women and men for work fairly. And codify it in terms of promotion in job ,training, and rehabilitation, as well as in financial and moral rights related to work and do not entrust it to official and decision-maker in the government apparatus, and in public and mixed sectors.

12.  The development of labor legislation to address the manifestations of discrimination in each of:

  (A) Joining and the type of work.

  (B) promotion opportunities at work.

  (C)  Receiving wages and incentives.

  (D) Equal opportunities for training and rehabilitation.

  (E) To participate in the management and decision-making.

13.  To tighten legal protections for women, particularly working women towards the following phenomena:

(A) The rape and harassment (at work or public places, including hearing obscene words that scratch the modesty of a woman.

(B) A flagrant violation of women's rights, such as deprivation of education and forced early marriage or forcing women to marry without her consent.

14.  Establish precise controls for occupational safety for women workers, especially in the professions related chemicals, because its impact  transmitted from the mother to her children and affect their in pregnancy and lactation.

15.  The researcher recommends the legislator  to grant the worker a paid study leave that  gives the worker the right to determine the date of the examination performance  in any stages of education.

16.  The researcher also recommends the legislature to grant working women  a leave for accompany of the husband sets at half salary for a period of one year, And a leave without pay in extended for another year, according to the wish of working women.

17.  Lowering the retirement age for working women. And expanding the scope of social security, with regard to maternal health and unemployment that also includes male and female workers in those sectors which are not included in this scope of social security, such as the agriculture and construction sectors as well as the other marginal sectors.