Cairo, 5 October 2011
A council of over 35 Libyan women will convene at the Kempinski Nile Hotel in Cairo from October 7-9, 2011 to set strategies for promoting women’s rights and female political participation in post-Gaddafi Libya.
Organized by the regional Arab women’s NGO Karama, this is the first such meeting of the Libya Peace Platform, which brings together a diverse group of Libyan women, expatriate and national, and from different ages, regional affiliations and social classes. The group’s goals are to ensure that women’s voices are represented in the transition and that women’s rights are protected throughout Libya’s peace-building process.
“Women have played a pivotal role in the Libyan Revolution. In fact, Libyan women (as mothers, wives and sisters of the victims of notorious prison of Abu Sileem) were the first to come out and protest on the 15th of Feb, crying out “Rise up Benghazi. This is the day we have been waiting for!” Therefore, Libyan women will continue to play a major role in rebuilding new Libya and in bringing about national reconciliation and transitional justice,” said Zahra’ Langhi, founder of Friends of Free Libya.
“In Libya we have a chance to rebuild the framework for women’s rights, and turn the horrors of Gaddafi’s torture and mass rapes. We have an opportunity now to contribute to a system where women feel secure, included and respected, as well as one that empowers women as citizens and decision-makers. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we have to take it,” said Hibaaq Osman, founder and CEO of Karama.
Members of the Libya Peace platform will draft a joint declaration of principles at the meeting, and craft a detailed plan for putting their tactics and ideas into action at the local and international levels. Participants will convene five local Peace Platform bodies in five key Libyan cities (Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, Western Mountain, Derna and Sabha) that will mobilize women around direct actions to influence their leaders and local communities. In addition, the women convened will design lobbying campaigns for the Libya Contact Group, United Nations, EU and other international actors that have an impact on Libya policy.
For more information or to arrange an interview with one of the participants, please contact Zahra Radwan at +20 17 352 3528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.