The gradual but marked Islamization of the public in Yemen since unification in 1990 is often treated as a dynamic that marginalizes women and limits their opportunities for political activism. By retheorizing the spatial features of public activism, however, this article demonstrates that this Islamization has been brought about in part through the activism of women themselves, conducted in ways that are spatially private but substantively public in intent and effect. This contributes what may be conceived of as a “segmented” public. Their success in shaping the national debate on women’s political participation through such segmented public activism has provided Islamist women with the political leverage to begin undermining segmentation, further expanding the range of opportunities for women’s activism.

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