More than 10,000 attacks on Yemeni women in 2016: UN

AFP , Monday 27 Mar 2017

File photo: Women wave flags of Yemen during a demonstration by pro-government protesters in Sanaa August 24, 2014. (Reuters)

The conflict in Yemen has made women and girls more vulnerable to gender-based violence, with more than 10,000 cases reported last year, the UN Population Fund said on Monday.

"Displacement and the breakdown of protection mechanisms has drastically increased the vulnerability of women and girls to violence, whose position in society was already at a disadvantage before the conflict," a UNFPA statement said.

"Incidents of gender-based violence have reportedly increased by over 63 percent in the last two years," said UNFPA, marking the second anniversary of the Saudi-led intervention in support of the internationally recognised government against the Huthi rebels.

Referring to more than 10,000 cases reported in 2016, UNFPA said this means "more frequent rapes, domestic violence, forced and child marriage, physical and psychological abuse and trauma, and many more acts of violence against women and girls compared to two years ago".

The aid agency also said the number of people in Yemen needing humanitarian help reached 18.8 million this month, with 10.3 million in acute need.

"Rising food shortages have left an estimated 1.1 million pregnant women malnourished," it said.

The United Nations says more than 7,700 people have been killed and three million displaced in Yemen since March 2015, when the Arab coalition intervened.

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