To contribute to the existing pool of evidence on the dynamic interplay between illicit trade and armed conflicts, this report looks at illicit trade flows in four separate conflict-affected countries in the MENA region: Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. For the case of Yemen, the report also presents a deep-dive analysis of illicit trade flows and the relevant governance environment. The findings highlight that illicit trade networks in these countries are dynamic, complex, and heavily integrated into regional and global networks.

Inequality is widespread in Yemen, largely due to patriarchal traditions and religious beliefs. The population is predominantly Muslim and follows Islamic Sharia law. Yemen’s overall poverty also contributes to the difficult situation of women which include limited access to health care, economic opportunities and education. In fact, Yemen has one of the world’s largest gaps between net primary school attendance rates for girls and boys. Less than 30% of Yemeni women are economically active; the majority of women who do work are employed in the agricultural sector.

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