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Known for Being

The first Yemeni woman to publish a novel.

The first Yemeni woman appointed to the diplomatic corps.

The head of the Yemen Women's Union.

The Secretary General of the Arab Women's Union.

A pioneering Yemeni novelist, writer, diplomat, and human rights leader.

Major Accomplishments

Ramziya Al-Iryani was the first Yemeni woman to publish a novel, and a pioneering novelist, writer, diplomat, and human rights leader. Hailing from the Ibb province, she completed high school in Taiz and received her bachelor's degree in philosophy at Cairo University in 1977. She then earned a master's degree in Arabic literature in 1979. Among her many literary works, she published a book about Yemeni female leaders, entitled Yemeni Leaders, in 1990.

In 1980, Al-Iryani became the first Yemeni woman appointed to the diplomatic corps, and served in diplomatic positions until becoming an ambassador in the Foreign Ministry. She was a model for all Yemeni women, for she surpassed the barriers of isolation and discrimination and broke from social constraints at a very early age. Al-Iryani accomplished great steps forward for women as president of the Yemen Women's Union. Her defense of and support for women took on new heights when she was elected as the Secretary General of the Arab Women's Union. In all the leadership positions she occupied, she defended Yemeni women's issues and led the feminist movement, encouraging women to engage in political work alongside the men.

Last modified: 01/09/2019

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