Gender Concerns International acted as a lead organisation for KAP Consortium KAP, a multi-country initiative supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
The KAP Project addressed the issue of Violent Extremism in Afghanistan and Libya, highlighting it as a major obstacle for women, peace and security, and to women‘s inclusive political participation. During the project implementation, the focus has been to counter the spread of violent extremism by empowering the youth to promote non-violent political and religious narratives which are compatible with human rights and women’s rights.
To engage the target group, experienced local organisations and experts have been contacted and brought into agreed partnership commitment to deliver the expected tools and contribute to impact the change. The project has served to complement existing initiatives under the Dutch NAP 1325 on Women, Peace and Security by addressing the issue of violent extremism targeted at neglected groups (especially youth, but also religious leaders, men, and boys) as a missing link for sustainable peace. It has assessed the influence which these groups have on the adverse situation of women in conflict and post-conflict areas4 and attempted to engage them in a dialogue followed by a greater public awareness program.
The KAP project has played a key role in raising the awareness of people on human rights, women rights, how to do lobbying and advocating against violence with proper communication and networking knowledge and skills. The collected data showed that the capacity of targeted beneficiaries has been built on how to cope with the challenges that they have faced in the past and they are moving forward towards a bright future.
After the GEM Mission in Libya during the first elections in 2012, Gender Concerns International had been working closely with the Libyan Women’s Union and the Libyan Forum for Civil Society with the support of the EU. The programme included diverse support for local initiatives through networking, capacity building, dialogue, lobby and advocacy.
Since the Dastoor programme’s initiation in 2013, its goal has been to strengthen the position of women in the constitutional drafting process. The results of the programme were compiled in the Gender-Sensitive Constitution which resulted from the cooperation between women’s and civil society organisations, members of the Constituent Assembly and the international community. The Gender-Sensitive Constitution represented the rights of women which needed to be included in the new Libyan Constitution. Members of the Women for Democratic Transformation Platform (WDT) presented the recommendations for a gender sensitive constitution to the Libyan Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) in December 2014. Gender Concerns and WDT continuously presented and advocated for the recommendations in the Gender-sensitive constitution towards important stakeholders in both Libya and the international community.
Gender Concerns International Libya supported the (WDT) platform in 2014 in tandem with the third anniversary of the Libyan Revolution.
Further work included various activities, such as organizing and conducting training sessions, conferences and awareness-raising campaigns at the regional and national level. These activities were implemented in order to provide the skills, the network and the strategic capabilities needed by the female parties involved, both to ensure their voice in the democratic system and the continuation of the programme. The platform was instituted to monitor, advise and support the Libyan government’s implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its consultations on the Libyan draft Constitution. The WDT also supported the empowerment of women’s organisations and women political leaders.
Examples are the new billboards around Tripoli which the WDT Platform installed to promote women’s participation in constitutional development in 2014. Moreover, they conducted a gender-focused assessment mission of the elections of the Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) to ensure that free and fair conditions were in place to enable women’s participation.
A full partnership between the WDT and the Libyan Forum for Civil Society, who had been in turn supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, made these activities possible.
As part of the Dastoor programme, Gender Concerns International and the WTD Platform, with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office produced a short film to be shown during the activities. This film was written, directed and produced by Maia Marie-Cecile Darme.Our revolution, Our Constitution, is a short documentary on Libyan women and their participation in the country's democratic transition, asking the question: Three years after the beginning of the revolution, are women involved in political decision-marking?
The film was released on the occasion of the anniversary of the Libyan revolution, to reiterate the vital role of women in democratic processes.
The video features interviews of leading Libyan women who voice their commitment to action and the need for participation.
Click here for the documentary.
During the Marboua programme, Gender Concerns International established a political café in Tripoli to ensure a safe and secure place for Libyan women to communicate, develop ideas and to discuss strategies. In November 2013, the political café was officially opened by the Swiss Ambassador to Libya, His Excellency Erwin Hofer and Ms. Sabra Bano. Since its inauguration, the political café has been used for various activities and events. Gender Concerns International’s recommendation following the successful programme was to establish more political cafés in other Libyan cities.
For the programme Gender Concerns International cooperated with the Committee to Support Women’s Participation in Decision Making and the Libyan Forum for Civil Society. The programme was furthermore supported by the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
During the National Congress Elections of Libya in July 2012, Gender Concerns International conducted a Gender Election Monitoring (GEM) Mission. The mission had as its aim to strengthen the representation of women in the elections and beyond. Since this constituted the first election since the fall of the Gaddafi regime, it had been a milestone for Libya’s young democracy. However, it was noted in general that the women of Libya needed support both during the period of elections and during the following government formation.
For the elections, Gender Concerns International formed a team of elections observers and trained about 25 women from Libya for the mission.
Click here for the Gender Election Monitoring Report for Libya 2012 (English).