The so-called Houthi Ministry of Health has issued a directive banning the use of birth control methods in areas under their control, claiming that such methods don’t go with the Islamic identity.
Minister of Public Health and Population in the internationally unrecognized government of Houthis, Taha Al Motawkel, issued a directive last week prohibiting existing birth control methods in Houthi-controlled areas.
“The Ministry has made a new policy that suits our customs and Islamic identity,” he said in the directive.
The Houthi move was criticized by Yemeni and non-Yemeni human rights activists and researchers.
“After segregating society & turning schools into indoctrination & child recruitment camps, Houthis now want to turn women into baby making machines,” Nadwa Dawsari, a conflict analyst, said in a Tweeter post. “They are preparing for their holy war.”
Katherine Zimmerman, who is an advisor to Critical Threats, commented on the Houthi move, saying they continue to march “toward theocracy, restricting women’s rights and indoctrinating children.”
According to Zimmerman, the Houthi move is one of many human rights violations committed by Houthis that often “go underreported in international press.”
Since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia overran the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and ousted the internationally recognized government, Yemen became the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in modern history where two-thirds of the nation, according to the UN, are in need of humanitarian assistance.