Yemen is probably better known for tribal kidnappings than for its rich cultural heritage or for its steady progress towards democratization in the face of massive developmental challenges.
In the 20th century Yemen was the first Arab state to gain independence. It has the only permanent elected parliament in the Arab world. Its press is among the freest in the region. And Yemeni women were the first and remain the only women in the Arabian Peninsula to have the right to vote. In fact Yemen has a proud tradition of women in leadership the "Queen of Sheba" being its most famous historical figure.
Yet its political progress is in stark contrast to the marginal existence still facing millions of Yemenis. Isolated by the international community for refusing to take sides against Iraq during the Gulf War, Yemen continues to suffer the impact. As up to 1 million Yemenis were expelled from neighboring states the country plunged into economic crisis, compounding existing developmental problems. Today more than 70 percent of Yemenis are still without adequate health services and fewer than half of rural households have access to potable drinking water. Fewer than half of girls complete their education. This book traces Yemen's development from ancient times to the present and analyses the social, economic and environmental cahllenges facing the country today.
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About the Author
Author of The Republic of Yemen: Development Challenges in the 21st Century. She has lived in Yemen periodically since 1984. From 1984 to 1989 she worked for a number of international development agencies, for the last two and a half years as Deputy Country Representative for Oxfam UK. From 1998 to 200 she served as Resident Director of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies and, since March 2000, has worked as an independent consultant on a variety of projects in Yemen.