Yemen Children

Do children go to school in Yemen?

Since Yemen was unified, efforts have also been made by the government to improve the situation in schools. In Yemen, a country located in Middle East according to allcountrylist, for example, there is compulsory schooling for children between the ages of six and 15. However, only about 86 out of 100 children started school in 2012. The number of boys was higher than the number of girls. Only 78 out of 100 girls even went to school.

Many parents do not send the girls to school

For many parents in Yemen it seems superfluous to send a girl to school. At least in the country these ideas still prevail. In the end, only 41 out of 100 children attend secondary school and only a few are girls. Only 33 out of 100 girls get that far in the course of their schooling. With the boys it’s a little more than half. The illiteracy rate in Yemen is one of the highest in the Arab world.

The war prevents many children from going to school

The above figures are from 2012. The number of children attending school is currently much lower, as many schools were destroyed by the war. Many children are in shock and fear for their families. It’s hard to go to school and learn. There are currently no figures at all and we can assume that even fewer children attended school in 2017. Further developments in Yemen must show to what extent this situation will change.

Children in Yemen

The war in Yemen affected and still affects children above all. This is how the children’s aid organization Unicef ​​reports. Schools have repeatedly been the target of attacks, as have hospitals and refugee shelters, according to the UN.

In 2017, too, there was still a lack of essential goods, including food, water and oil. What is particularly bad is that more and more children have been turned into soldiers. They had to fight along. Even ten year olds were given weapons. Many children died from diseases that could be avoided, but because of the war there was no help or simple medication. So many children could not be vaccinated against diseases that could be avoided. Many hospitals have had to close since the outbreak of war.

Many children suffered from malnutrition because they did not get enough to eat. Yemen is dependent on imports of goods and, above all, food from abroad, but food imports have largely been stopped.

Many schools in Yemen had closed, so in 2016 every second child no longer went to school. The way to school was dangerous. The situation continued to get worse.

Why is nobody looking?

Even before the war, the situation in Yemen was bad for both adults and children. But the war made everything worse. And hardly anyone thinks about it, this conflict is too far away. While the Syrian refugees keep making the suffering in Syria visible to us, those who suffer in Yemen remain invisible, perhaps because nobody wants to see them. Escape is almost impossible for them. Several million are fleeing in the country itself.

The West is not innocent in this war either. Because he delivers weapons to Saudi Arabia, and Germany does the same. As long as the war goes on, children will die.

Yemen Children


The curved dagger

Every man in Yemen wears a curved dagger. It’s called Janbiya there and is an important symbol for men. These daggers are made in Yemen itself, in specially designed workshops, which you can find, for example, in the old town of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. These daggers are carried in a belt in front of the stomach. Even small boys proudly walk around with such a dagger and feel like real big boys – like this boy in the photo on the right.

Why do people smoke Kath?

Especially in the north it is mainly the men who chew Kath. They meet in the afternoon and chew this plant by putting its leaves in the mouth. There are substances in the plant that have a stimulating effect. This is how people feel fit and alert for a short time.

Sounds good, but like many things, it also has side effects. They lie in sleep problems and also in damage to the stomach or increased blood pressure. In addition, Kath costs a lot of money that cannot be used for food. But whatever one tries to reduce this consumption of Kath has failed. The Yemenis hold on to this ancient tradition even if it is harmful to health.

Child marriage

It is difficult to speak of a tradition here, but Yemen is one of the countries in which younger girls who are still children are often married to much older men. The girls have no way of objecting.

There are many reasons for such marriages. Often it is about money: the parents then have to look after one child less. Or they restore family honor with such a wedding. The girls no longer go to school, receive no education and have no rights. Often they are also exposed to violence.

Most countries in the Middle East have laws that set minimum ages for marriage. There is no such thing in Yemen or Saudi Arabia. The human rights organization Human Rights Watch reports that 14 out of 100 girls in Yemen are married before they are 15 years old. Child marriages are unfortunately still widespread in Yemen.