Parliamentarians, armed Revolutionaries, lawmakers and political activists gathered in Benghazi while Libyan political forces met in Tripoli to discuss the constitution and transition processes.
Benghazi, LIBYA (December 19, 2013) – As key Libyan political forces met in a UNSIML-facilitated gathering in Tripoli, the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP), in partnership with Karama and the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality, convened a meeting in Benghazi to follow up on national priorities for women, peace and security. The consultation, titled “Peace and Security: Towards a more Inclusive Participation of Women and Youth in Drafting a New Road Map,” brought together over thirty key figures including members of the youth social political movement, women’s activists, parliamentarians, revolutionaries and political parties.
The two-day meeting, held from December 11th-12th, follow up on issues and strategies illuminated at the Arab Regional Training on Woman, Peace and Security, which took place in Amman, Jordan at the end of October and launched the Arab Regional Network on Women, Peace and Security. Also attended by the senior office of the Warriors Affairs Committee (WAC) and the head of the Eastern Revolutionary Platoon, the December consultation was held at pivotal moment for unifying the ideas of Libyans across all aspects of society to adequately address demilitarization, demobilization, reintegration of armed revolutionaries (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR). Among other key issues discussed were the national dialogue and the constitutional process. Participants also considered the roles of the General National Congress (GNC), the government and the international community in building inclusivity and restoring security to Libya.
“Gathering stakeholders to address Libya’s critical democratic transition and security challenges is timely, since all have had a serious impact on the constitutional process and thus on Libya’s road map,” Zahra’ Langhi, Co-Founder of the LWPP said. “The meeting also establishes the need of fostering a sustainable inclusive dialogue between civil society, lawmakers and politicians that will raise awareness about constitutional drafting challenges, the difficulties of the transition and fears of a political and constitutional vacuum.”
Zyaed Blaam, the head of the Eastern Revolutionary Platoon who is participating for the first time with civil society added, “This consultation gives us an opportunity to discuss sensitive and important points on the current situation in Libya, especially those related to the reintegration of armed revolutionaries and rebuilding the army.”
The consultation included diverse segments of civil society, which enriched the discussion of political initiatives. The meeting concluded with an urgent call to adopt a new road map in moving forward. A leading member of the Youth of the Revolution forum, Moutassim Bu Dakheel discussed further how to draft a new road map through legal channels, one of which was based on going back to the Libyan constitution of 1951, an approach that has become popular among various segments of Libyan society.
In moving forward, stakeholders identified key concerns, particularly with regard to the constitutional process. Salwa Bughaigis, LWPP Co-Founder and the Deputy of the Preparatory Committee of the National Dialogue said, “There are serious concerns regarding the challenges of the constitutional process, one of which is the small number of electoral registers, which could undermine the legitimacy of the elections as a whole.” She also pointed to issues of exclusion—particularly the Political Exclusion Law, which applied to candidates of the Constitutional Assembly—and urged for development of alternative road maps in moving forward.
The Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP) was launched in October 2011 by over thirty-five women from different cities and backgrounds to ensure that women remain a vital part of post-Gaddafi Libya, with a particular emphasis on inclusive transitions, women’s rights, youth leadership, advancement and security as related to women’s political and economic participation, constitutional reform, and education. It has since grown to a network of over 100 organizations and people. The LWPP has experience in constituency building and mobilization, and network facilitation and management, as well as successful advocacy and lobby activities in the fields of women’s political leadership and participation. The LWPP has also been involved in the new constitution drafting process and efforts regarding the election of women parliamentarians. Further information can be found at www.LWPP.org or on the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace Facebook page.
Karama, the Arabic word for dignity, is a movement fueled by a coalition of partners from fourteen countries in the Middle East and North Africa working to end violence against women in all its forms. Headquartered in Cairo, Egypt with an office in Amman, Jordan, Karama promotes women’s inclusion, participation, advancement, safety and security through advocacy, lobbying, awareness-building and capacity-building campaigns, and through coordination, linkage and collaboration at the national, regional and international levels. For further information about Karama, please visit its website at www.el-karama.org or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.