Rasha Jarhum

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Rasha Jarhum
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Aden, Yemen
Alma mater
  • Bangalore University
  • Nottingham University Business School

Rasha Jarhum is a Yemeni feminist activist. Her mother is Hooria Mashhour, former Minister of Human Rights in Yemen. Rasha was born in Aden, Yemen, and spent her childhood there until the fall of 1994 when she relocated to Sanaa. Her father was a Brigadier-general at Yemen's Ministry of Interior until his passing in 2009[1].

Rasha went to Al-Qhadi public school in little Aden, and continued her education in Yemen Modern School in Sana'a. She did her undergraduate education at Bangalore University, and obtained a Master's degree from Nottingham University Business School. [2]


Rasha's first role was in 2006 when she joined the Women National Committee (Yemen) as an intern, following which she joined the Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights in Sana'a as a Technical Support Assistant in support of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) regional chapter. In 2008, she was hired as a Communications Consultant for Girls' education with UNICEF in Yemen, and thereafter worked as a field consultant for Japan International Cooperation Agency Bridge II project for basic education. In 2011, she joined UNDP as communications officer for the Joint Electoral Assistance Project which supported the 2012 Yemeni presidential election. Between 2012 and 2014 she did a number of consulting assignments for UN-United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, the American University of Beirut, and UN Women. In 2014 she joined Oxfam GB's regional office for the Middle East in support in their advocacy work including in relation to the Syrian crisis response and later assumed the role of Gender and Advocacy Manager for the Gender Justice Programme. In 2017, she co-established the Peace Track Initiative[3], along with Yasmeen Al-Nadhiri, and since then serves as its director.

Since 2018, Rasha is a Fellow at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law[4].

Activism Work

Rasha started her activism work while supporting the work of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC). She campaigned with parliamentarians for the adoption of the Rome Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and there after on a number of social issues such as girls education, banning child marriage, and for gender equality. Upon the unrest associated with the Yemeni Revolution, Rasha founded the Yemeni Youth for Humanitarian Relief Initiative[5], aiming at facilitating the delivery of humanitarian relief to affected communities in several parts of the country including Aden and Sana'a, and organized a number of fundraisers as well as donor and NGO support[6]. They undertook the first assessment of damages in Al-Hasaba neighborhood of Sana'a and carried out a four-month long campaign for the delivery of water to some 500 families besieged by the unrest[7].

Rasha engaged in support of the women block of the National Dialogue Conference, and organized a coalition of women activists to ensure strong language in support of gender equality is introduced into the constitution draft in 2013[8], which in 2016 was revived and renamed as the Women Solidarity Network, to focus more on providing protection for women, advocate for women's rights, and contribute to peacebuilding. Rasha was also a leading figure in the Yemeni Women Pact for Peace and Security between 2015 and 2016 formed by UN Women, but later withdrew in objection to tokenistic participation. In 2015, Rasha established the With Aden Initiative to raise the visibility of the atrocities committed against civilians in Aden in early 2015 by the Houthi takeover in Yemen militia prior to the Arab Military Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.

Since the establishment of the Peace Track Initiative, Rasha carried on her activism full time in support of recognizing women's voices and women's full participation in the Yemen Peace process. The work of the initiative continued to expand with the support of the governments of the Netherlands, Norway, and Canada, as well as in close partnership with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom among other international feminist networks and initiatives.

Rasha has participated directly and indirectly in the Yemen peace process, including taking part in the 2016 Kuwait negotiations and working closely with the negotiations' delegations in a variety of issues. She also briefed the United Nations United Nations Security Council in 2018 about the Yemen Peace Process[9], and briefed again in an arria-formula UNSC meeting in 2021[10], and engages in extensive high-level political diplomacy with the United Nations, regional leaders, parties to the Yemeni conflict, as well as with the broader Yemeni women movement from all political affiliations[11].

Awards and recognitions

Rasha is a member with the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa University, an alumni affiliated scholar with the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs for Public Policy at the American University in Beirut (2014); an Aspen Institute New Voice fellow (2016); an alumni Associate Executive Fellow of Geneva Centre for Security Policy (2018). She is a recipient of the Women Have Wings Courage Award for 2017[12]; and the 2019 Anita Augspurg award for rebels against war[13]

Rasha is also a member of the Women, Peace and Security- Canada Network[14], the Women Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL)[15], and a member of the MENA regional Coalition of Women Human Rights Defenders[16].


  1. Khaled (2009-03-08). "رشيد جرهوم…". آفاق فضل النقيب (in العربية). Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  2. Linkedin. "Rasha Jarhum's linkedin page".
  3. "The Peace Track Initiative". www.peacetrackinitiative.org. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  4. "Rasha Jarhum". Human Rights Research and Education Centre. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  5. "Yemeni Youth for Humanitarian Relief -شباب يمني من أجل الإغاثه الإنسانيه". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  6. "Yemeni Youth for Humanitarian Relief". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  7. "Protesters reach out to displaced families - Yemen". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  8. "About Us | عــن الشـــبكة". www.womensolidaritynetwork.org. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  9. "#UNSC Brief on #Yemen by @RashaJarhum إحاطة رشا جرهوم لمجلس الأمن عن الوضع في #اليمن". Peace Track مسار السلام. 2018-11-18. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  10. "Publication 85". publicate.it. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  11. "Rasha Jarhum's Twitter page".
  12. "Rasha Jarhum – Women Have Wings". Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  13. "Spenden Sie für die diesjährige Preisträgerin". Internationale Frauenliga Für Frieden und Freiheit (in Deutsch). 2019-04-10. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  14. "Women, Peace and Security Network - Canada". Women, Peace and Security Network - Canada. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  15. "Women's Alliance for Security Leadership". ICAN. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  16. "new home en". التحالف الاقليمي للمدافعات عن حقوق الانسان في الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا. Retrieved 2021-01-03.

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