The Hague, 20th of July 2020
Libyan Women Demand Inclusion:
As an organisation that has always supported the rights of women in Libya, Gender Concerns International voices the concerns of Libyan women who took to twitter highlighting the need to build on the track record of hard work Libyan women activists have achieved and not to exclude local voices. A sentiment Gender Concerns strongly empathises with.
17th July 2020 marked the one-year anniversary of the violent abduction and subsequent disappearance of Member of Parliament Siham Sergewa from her home in Benghazi. It is indeed of high significance that the International Community honours the women who suffer the disparity, violence, and conflict in Libya, but it is equally important to make this tribute an inclusive efforts by having other local and international change-maker actors on board.
The violence itself has a chilling impact on the work of women activists in Libya who dare to speak out or engage in public affairs and aims at silencing them, but the issue is further exacerbated when they are excluded from their own country discussions on an international level. This case is amongst several that underline the climate of impunity for violence against women in Libya, spurring international conversation on how to protect and ensure women empowerment in the war-torn country.
Gender Concerns has a long history of being active in Libya and have been on the ground since the first wave of progress in 2011 and stands in full support of Libyan women leaders and activists. Libyan women are defiant and equal participants in Libyan revolution and post revolution democratization of the country, that fact cannot be denied or ignored. Director Sabra Bano highlighted that “while such an event is a step in the right direction, there is still more that needs to be done in supporting both the voices of Libyan women and the organisations on the ground building the capacity and strength of impacted women.”
The webinar event was well received in remembering Libyan pioneer women including Salwa Bughaighis, Fareeha Al-Berkawi, Entisar Al-Hassari & Nasseb Kernafa. However, the lack of local participation was significant considering the themes of the event.
Gender Concerns supports the notion that there is no justification for the exclusion of Libyan Women. These women are sisters, and the organisation stands in solidarity with the women excluded from their own progress and supports the call for increased participation under any and all circumstances, as well as the inclusion and representation of women leaders and women organisations in all peace talks and democracy discourse.
For further information please contact:
Gender Equality Partnership Programme
Gender Concerns International
Benoordenhoutseweg 23, 2596 BA, The Hague, the Netherlands
P: +31 (0) 74445082 W: www.genderconcerns.org
Gender Concerns International is an international gender and development organization with its headquarters in The Hague and offices in several focus countries. It specializes working in the area of Women, Peace and Security, Climate Change and Election Observation from Gender Perspective.