“Breaking the Silence” chronicles the lives and injustices against the Akhdam women in Yemen. The ‘Akhdam’ , singular Khadem, meaning "servant" in Arabic, are a social group in Yemen, distinct from the majority by their darker skin and African descent. Although they are Arabic-speaking and practicing Muslims, they are regarded as non-Arabs and designated as a low caste group, frequently discriminated against and confined to unskilled and menial labor. In a society already riddled with patriarchy and poverty, the distain and discrimination against the Akhdam renders Akhdam women easy targets of violence and abuse. Akhdam women are subject to hate-based attacks and sexual assaults without any type of legal or social recourse.
This video, produced by Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights and WITNESS, featuring the stories and voices of these three women, Haddah, Qobol, and Om Ali recounting their stories of violence, injustice and forced poverty uncover the legacy of discrimination the ‘Akhdam’ live with daily and the necessity for urgent action against these atrocities.