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Yemeni women marginalized even in death

Yemeni officials have prevented the body of a woman killed during the Dec. 5 attack against a Defense Ministry hospital in Sanaa from being buried in the official martyrs’ cemetery.
Women walk by a mural of a flag of the Yemen Arab Republic from former North Yemen in Sanaa, December 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi (YEMEN - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY) - RTX16T8G
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It's a sad, painful time in Yemen. On the evening of Dec. 5, the day following the attack on the Al-Arida Hospital at Yemen's Defense Ministry that left 56 dead and more than 150 injured, I had dinner with a senior military official. A phone call he took involved the strangest discussion I have ever heard.

Speaking with the father of one of the victims of the previous day's massacre, the official insisted that the man’s daughter could not be buried in Martyrs' Cemetery, where male victims were being interred. That evening was the first time I realized that Martyrs’ Cemetery did not contain a single woman's grave, despite there having been dozens of female martyrs in Yemen over the years.

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