9th March 2018

Tearfund Latest Prayer Points


Giving women a chance in Yemen



Married when she should have been going into secondary school, fleeing the abusive marriage, then finding herself threatened at gunpoint by her brothers concerned with protecting the family honour, Farah’s experience reflects that of many women in Yemen.


As this is the week of International Women’s Day (8 March), we’re celebrating Farah* and others who have not allowed the cultural norms in their communities to shrink their horizons.


Standing firm

Having found the courage to go back home, Farah also went back to school and took a job in a newly opened centre aimed at giving opportunities to rural women. Her father supported this, but she faced daily harassment from other members of her family cultural norms in Yemen discourage girls from attaining more than a basic education and frown on women working outside the home.


Despite the threats, she kept working at the centre, teaching women to read and write. When the centre was forced to close in 2001 due to a lack of funding, Farah was determined to keep the valuable programmes going.


She doggedly pursued other avenues of funding and her persistence paid off. She learned about a new government programme allowing the formation of cooperative associations to provide people with vocational skills and education. These cooperatives could legally apply for and receive funding from donor agencies.


Watering the seeds of change

Since the World Economic Forum (WEF) began publishing its Global Gender Gap Report in 2006, Yemen has always been ranked last among more than 140 nations in the report.


But Farah has challenged this inequality and the cooperative she founded has supported and trained thousands of women over the past 15 years, improving their skills in farming, first aid and literacy. The organisation has also implemented several projects to rehabilitate irrigation systems, schools, and community water and sanitation systems.


In partnership with Farah, we have helped many women and girls access reliable and safe water sources. Projects have included supplying water, improving infrastructure and distributing hygiene kits and sanitary supplies, together with training in good practices for health and disease prevention.


Better health and spending less time finding access to water puts girls in a better position to get an education. These projects also give women a fighting chance to succeed on their own and to have a positive impact on their families and communities.


Equality and opportunity

Farah provides a great role model for them. ‘I’ve had to have a good, strong will to get here,’ she says. ‘If I fail, people who look up to me will fail as well, so I need to keep going. When I see examples of other women who succeed it encourages me to continue.’


The WEF introduces its report with the statement that gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. However, the escalation of conflict in Yemen since March 2013 has exacerbated inequality and gender-based violence.


Farah remains determined to play her part in ensuring women in her society have every opportunity they can.


* Name changed to protect identity





A note from...



Yesterday was International Women's Day a chance to celebrate the achievements of women the world over. Farah's story shows that, despite the overwhelming challenges women face in places like Yemen, inspiring female leaders are rising up. Please continue to pray for these amazing women.


Megan Howe

Programme Officer, Yemen









Prayer Item #1


Please pray for God's protection over Tearfund staff and partners, and the people of Burkina Faso, following targetted attacks on the French embassy and army headquarters in Ouagadougou last Friday. Pray for God's comfort for those who lost loved ones in the attack and the many who were wounded.



Prayer Item #2


The impending cyclone and rainy season in South Asia (mid March through April) risks causing major damage to the Rohingya refugee camps, which have little or no protection against landslides and flooding. Emergency measures are being put in place, but urgent prayer is needed. Please pray that the rains will not be too severe, and pray for protection for these vulnerable people.


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Since its independence in 1960, CAR has had a very tumultuous and violent history.

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Pray for women around the world struggling to feed their families, and praise God for the amazing example Alina in Nepal.

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