Rural Female Teachers in Yemen encourage young girls to get an education

The lack of female professionals in many spheres, including education, reduces Yemenis women's opportunities to learn and thrive

UNICEF Yemen
Rural Female Teachers
UNICEF/UN0550367/Hayyan
15 November 2021

“I met a girl who got married when she was just about 12 years old," says Eman, a Female Rural Teacher in AlDhale’e Governorate, Yemen. “She left school because of the marriage, but then she got divorced. When I met her, and she told me her story, I started to convince her in every way to return to her studies. She did, and now that girl is in high school."

Eman is one of over 2,200 female teachers who are willing to work in the outlying areas of Yemen, encouraging young girls to enroll and get an education.

Among over two million children out of school today in Yemen, the majority are girls. Basic education remains unavailable for many girls, especially those who live in remote rural areas.

The lack of female professionals in many spheres, including education, reduces Yemenis women's opportunities to learn and thrive. However, this is not the only reason why so many girls remain out of school today.

"I have many friends who stopped studying because the school is too far and most parents do not want their daughters to be taught by male teachers ," says Jawaher, one of Eman's students, " also many girls leave school because they get married."

Adolescent marriages are another reason why many Yemeni girls do not enroll or complete their studies. More than two-thirds of girls in Yemen marry before they turn 18. Girls are being forced into early marriage, where they remain trapped in a cycle of poverty and unfulfilled potential.

That is why the role of a female rural teacher like Eman also includes a lot of persuasion and diplomacy to convince families of the importance of education for girls.

Rural Female teachers
UNICEF/UN0550366/Hayyan
Jawaher Mohammed, 16 years old, a secondary student in Al-Haj Naser Muthana School for girls Al Dhale’e, Yemen, Oct 2021

Entering Eman's classroom, you instantly see how those young girls' eyes sparkle with curiosity and excitement when they listen to their teacher or speak confidently in class.

"We had to stop studying because of the war," says Jawaher, "and then almost as soon as we returned to school, the COVID-19 epidemic started. Now, we are so happy to go back to school!!