Karama
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"Democracy without women is hypocrisy"

Hibaaq Osman, Founder and CEO, Karama

Libya Women’s Platform for Peace – final policy recommendations from Tripoli and Benghazi

libyaLibya Women’s Platform for Peace: a movement of women organizations and leaders who aim at achieving freedom, equality, social justice, and promoting women rights to citizenship

Karama and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in cooperation with Libyan women activists organized a meeting for civil society organizations and Libyan women leaders at the Kempinski hotel in Cairo from October 7-9 2011. The meeting has resulted in formulating a preliminary vision for the establishment of the Libya Women’s Platform for Peace.

In November 2011, Karama and the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace organized a strategic planning workshop to support women in decision making. The workshop was attended by 70 women leaders, academics, and representatives of civil society organizations during the period from November 26-28 at the Corinthia hotel in Tripoli. During the Tripoli workshop, the focus was given to the strategic planning process, its components and elements.

After extensive discussions between participants, risks and opportunities were identified in order to formulate a common vision that would achieve the desired objectives of strengthening the status of women and supporting their participation in decision-making positions. The inner vision of the LWPP was drafted and the platform was defined as a movement that supports and drives for the development of women at the economic, political and social level.

The platform derives from the organizations and institutions that share the same goals are spread all over Libya. The platform also aims at entrenching the principle of equality and justice between women and men in rights and responsibilities and the commitment to empower women to play their normal role in society as full partners in sustainable development.

The platform has reached the following recommendations:

  • Develop a sustainable and integrated strategy capable of achieving cultural and social advancement on issues affecting women and empowering women to develop their awareness of their rights and capabilities
  • Set a quota system that would ensure women’s representation by no less than 40% in the General National Congress
  • Reaffirm the right to equality between women and men by highlighting the actual roles and prepare leaderships, enacting legislation, and taking the necessary measures to guarantee and protect women rights along with guaranteeing its protection through the Constitution
  • Build women’s awareness of their rights through the available media channels and communication networks to spread awareness of women rights and demands and maintain their gains
  • Work to establish a lobbying strength to affect decision makers in supporting women’s rights and participation
  • Strengthening the presence and effectiveness of the Libya Women Platform for Peace through networking with local civil society organizations at the local, regional and international levels and establishing strong partnerships with them

A third workshop was held in Benghazi with the participation of 28 participants from women experts and representatives of civil society organizations. The workshop, which lasted from November 30 to December 2 and was organized at Tibesti hotel, discussed the issue of gender based violence and the means through which support could be presented to the survivors of gender-based violence. The impact of GBV was also discussed in terms of the psychological and social harms that accompany it.

The Benghazi workshop aimed at the empowerment of participants through equipping them with the technical and theoretical tools required to stop violence against women. The need to reach victims of GBV and engage men in the fight against it was also stressed. The workshop followed a participatory methodology and relied on techniques involving role-playing, discussions, sharing experiences and success stories.

At the end of the workshop, participants generated a work plan comprising different priorities, goals, activities and monitoring tools:

  1. Awareness raising campaigns through civil society organizations and individuals regarding the means through which to deal with victims of GBV, taking into consideration the principles of privacy, confidentiality and human rights.
  2. Build the capacities of service providers through providing trainings and rehabilitation and intensifying to members
  3. Develop laws to ensure the protection of vulnerable groups of children, women and men.
  4. Raising the awareness of women of their legal rights through awareness-raising campaigns and the eradication of legal illiteracy
  5. Providing a hotline service and training employees on how to receive such calls and forward them to the concerned organizations and authorities
  6. Providing organizations that present specialized support and psychological treatment for victims of GBV
  7. Lobbying for the inclusion of human rights principles in the educational curriculum of the different schooling phases.

Photograph courtesy of Dominique Margot

Special thanks to the UNFPA

UNFPA-1

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