Huda Omer BaSaleem


Purpose: Women empowerment has different notions that at least encompass three dimensions; educational, economic and legal and is strongly connected with community development. This study aimed to qualitatively describe community perception about girls’ education, women social and health status and utilization of targeted services as an example of women empowerment project in a rural Yemeni setting.


Materials and Methods:This study was conducted in Khamer, Amran, Yemen (March-June 2013) in the areas served by Khamer Educational Center that aimed at eliminating illiteracy among women. Four focus group discussion (FGDs) involved women benefited from the training in improving their status (empowered women), and another four FGDs involved women who had not used the knowledge and skills they had developed (un-empowered women). In-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with fifteen key informant women and men from various community sectors. Participants gave their own consent and strict confidentially was ensured. Ttranscripts were categorized manually to find meaningful relationship between inductively emerged themes.


Results:Women IDIs revealed readiness to help empowering Center’s graduates; and working for future community services. Men's IDIs demonstrated variable views about women educational empowerment and favoring of boy’s education. FGDs showed poor health awareness and seeking behavior and different views between empowered and un-empowered about women’s role.


Conclusion: It is clear the inappropriate educational level, low women status, and inadequate women awareness about certain health–related issues. Well planned literacy and life-skills programs need to be considered as major avenues to improve women awareness in life issues to be empowered and contribute to community development.


Women empowerment, Community development, Education, Health, Yemen

Full Text:



Al-Amri, A. Annuzaili, D. and Al-Deram, A. (2003). Overview of the situation of children, women and ECD in Yemen. ECDVU–MENA, accessed at:, (5 April 2013).

Alam, G.M. (2008). The role of technical and vocational education in the national development of Bangladesh. Asia‐Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 9(1), 25‐44

Alasah, A.A. (2008). Women’s Empowerment and Community Development in Cameron. A case study of Non Governmental Organizations and Women’s Organizations in the Northwest Province. Thesis submitted for the degree Doctor of Philosophy, University of Southampton, School of Social Sciences

Australian National Training Authority (2002). Toowoomba: Toowoomba Learning Community Network. Learning Communities National Project 2001, available accessed at (12 January 2016)

Bogdan, R.C. and Biklen, S.K., ed. (2007) Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods, 5th ed, Allyn and Bacon Incorporation, Boston, pp. 145-181.

CIA, (2015) Yemen Literacy, available at accessed (10 January 2016)

Damon, A. (2002): Productivism, sustainable development and vocational education and training. In: J. Searle, D. Roebuck (eds.), Envisioning practice, implementing change, International Conference on Post-compulsory Education and Training: 10th (ed), Australian Academic Press, Brisbane, Vol. 1, pp. 61-68.

Edu, D. O. and Edu, G. O. (2012). Vocational education of women: A tool for Community and national development in Nigeria. Universal Journal of Management and Social Sciences, 2, (2), 5555.

Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8, 597-607.

Mahadevan, K. Reddy, P. Sumangala, P. et al (2005). Empowerment of Women through Health Education for Healthy Living of Mothers and Children. In K. Mahadevan, S.K. Kumar and VK Panikar eds, Health Promotion, Prevention of HIV/AIDS and Population Regulation: Strategies for Developing Countries. New Delhi: B.R.P.C.

Mustapha, R.M. and Greenan, J.P. (2002). The Role of Vocational Education in Economic Development in Malaysia: Educators' and Employers' Perspective. Journal of industrial Teacher Education, 39, 22-39.

Osirike, A.B and Egbayebo, T.E. (2012). Women empowerment for community development in Nigeria. JORIND, 10 (3), 5-11.

Roudi-Fahimi, F and Moghadam V. M. (2003). Empowering Women, Developing Society:: Female Education in the Middle East and North Africa. Population Reference Bureau, MENA Policy Brief.

RoY. (2014) Ministry of Public Health & Population and Central Statistical Organization Yemen National Health and Demographic Survey 2013.

Sen, S. and Batliwala, S. (2000). Empowering women for reproductive rights. In B. Harriet and G. Sen, eds Women’s empowerment and demographic processes, Oxford University Press, New York.

Thiyagu K. (2013). Education – a tool for women empowerment. Asia Pacific Public Health Journal, 1-9.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP). (2015). Human Development Report. Work for Human Development Available at: (3 December 2015).

United Nation Fund for Population (UNFPA). (2010). Empowering women, available at , accessed (12 May 2014).

UN Women, (2014). UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Seats in parliament held by women , available at:, accessed (24 December 2015).

World Economic Forum. Global Gender Gap Report. available at, accessed (5 March 2015).


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.