Radhya Shamsheer

Activist and Pioneer through the National Transformation Times
May 2, 2020

Radhya Shamsheer

Activist and Pioneer through the National Transformation Times
May 2, 2020

In 1972, a news was broadcasted by Reuters, through its correspondent at that time, that the first female journalist graduated in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula was Radhya Shamsheer, who is one of the pioneers in the Women's Struggle Movement in Yemen, and one of the first participants in the armed struggle against the British colonialism.

Radhya Shamsheer Ali was born in 1948, in Crater District in Aden Gov. She has got her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media from Algeria in 1972, and a Diploma in Journalism and Media from the People’s State of Hungary in 1980.

Media and Cultural Work:

Radhya Shamsheer is considered a pioneer in the field of media in Yemen. She worked as a secretary editor for the New Cultural Magazine from 1974 to 1982. This magazine occupied a prominent position in the ranks of cultural magazines at that times. Radhia was also the Outreach Communication Officer in the Ministry of Information in Aden from 1972 to 1974.

Radhya is one of the founders of the Democratic Journalists Organization which was established in Aden in 1976, and a member of the Central Council of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate in Sana'a from 1990 to 1999. She also participated in several Local and Foreign Training Courses in the field of Media.

She was a guest in the Fiftieth Anniversary of Journalistic and Scientific Research Construction in the Media and Communication in Algieria University, which was entitled (Yesterday's Outcome, Tomorrow's Challenges) in 2014. She was honored as the first female graduate in the Arabian Peninsula in the Department of Journalism and Media.

Women's Work:

Radhya Shamsheer had a strong and prominent presence in the women activism and women’s rights issues, and she worked in this context in many positions, most notably; the positions she held in the Yemeni Women’s Union, where she was a member of the Executive Office, the Assistant Secretary-General, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, and the Secretary of the Media and Cultural Department of the Federation. She was awarded the Medal of Sincerity on the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the General Union of Yemeni Women - Aden in 1988.

She also attended many workshops, Seminars, Debates and Conferences in women's work, such as the Periodic Meeting for Southern Women Group for Peace which was sponsored by the European Institute for Peace. She also participated in a Training Course for the Women Leaders in the Government Administrative Sectors and the Yemeni NGOs in the Dialogue, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in 2012.

She participated in workshops in the Role of Women in Peace-Keeping, Negotiations, Transitional Transformations, the Involvement of Women in Anti-Corruption Efforts in the Public Sector, and Women's Studies.

Radhya worked as a consultant for a number of NGOs interested in women. She was a member of the International Advisory Board to Strengthen the Capacity of the Women’s Center for Training and Research at the University of Aden for the period 2005-2007, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Arab Foundation for Supporting Women’s and Children Issues - Aden 2004. She also worked as a consultant to a number of Non-Governmental Women’s Foundations, such as Aden Women’s Association for Savings and Lending, the Arab Foundation for Supporting Women and Children Issues, the Women’s Legal Awareness Raising Project, the Imprisoned Women Support Project, and the Urban Women Development Project – Yemen Women’s Union 1999-2003.

She attended many conferences that dealt with women's issues, and participated in regional seminars related to women in parliamentary elections, and in conferences to raise legal awareness of women's rights and enhance their political participation.

The Political and Electoral Process:

Ms. Radhya was one of the first participants in the political work, and one of the influential figures in such a field. She participated in the National Dialogue Conference that was held in Sana’a in 2013, and also she participated as a Co-member in the National Team for preparing the Humanitarian Development Report in the section related to the women and her political participation (2000-2001). She also participated in the consultative meeting to discuss the Discriminatory Texts in the Laws in-Force in the Republic of Yemen in 2006.

She also participated in workshops that dealt with political, human rights and civil issues, and presented working papers in the Personal Experience of Political Participation in the Parliamentary Elections, as she had been nominated as an independent member in the 2003 parliamentary elections.

Radhya Shamsheer is considered as a pioneer in the field of journalism. She was the first female journalist in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula. She participated in the civil and armed struggle against the British colonialism in southern Yemen before the Revolution Eruption against the colonialism and getting Independence. She participated after that in the Political, Civilian, Syndicate and Media Work, and stood for the Women's Rights and supported their participation in the different life fields.

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