“I am subjected to sexual harassment in the restaurant I work in and attempts to exploit my miserable situation, especially in the men’s section. However, I need to continue” said Farah Said.
Yemeni women continue paying the price of war since it began. It forced her to bear the burden of life and take on new jobs that are not accepted in her society. As a result of the dire circumstances, many women and girls are forced to work as waitresses.
Farah Said, 33 years old, is one of the tragic stories, “I am a nursing graduate. I finished my specialty after hard years of study. I couldn’t find a job that fits my specialty, therefore I was forced to work as a waitress in a restaurant to provide my family with food, rent, and other basic necessities.”
Said has worked in a luxury restaurant for 12 hours daily for almost a year and supported her family of four. Meanwhile, society despises her because she works an inferior job.
“The only opportunity for me and many women like me is serving food to men and women to get 1340 R.Y. (3$),” said Said.
Although she spends long hours in the restaurant, her family doesn’t know that she works in a job which, according to them, is forbidden and breaks all the rituals and tradition in Yemeni society.
Shaima’a Zhaher, 22 years old, lost her job as a waitress after the restaurant closed, “I didn’t expect or imagine that I would be forced to work this job which is new for women in Yemen.”
Zaher hopes to find another job very soon to be able to support her family of five and to continue her studies in university, which is becoming an impossible dream.
“The community that lives in war pushes women to work and provide her family with basic needs,” says social researcher, Maria Ahmed.
“This is one of the stories which reflects the women suffering in a male-dominated society. Working as a waitress is not the dream of many women, however the difficulty to find a suitable job that fits their specialty is really hard in a country facing the largest humanitarian crisis,” Ahmed added.