Towards an inclusive peace process

Libya has been facing serious political and social challenges for almost a decade, with close to 400,000 Libyans being displaced since the start of the conflict that followed the 2011 uprising. 

 In Libya today, women continue to bear the greatest impacts of the conflict and the country’s ongoing instability. They are being killed, kidnapped, and exposed to gender-based violence, among other dire challenges. Moreover, the experiences and perspectives of Libyan women are not recognised by the local or international community, and their involvement in formal peace processes is severely limited. 

 Working with our partners in Libya, WILPF aims to strengthen Libyan women’s participation in decision-making and peace-building processes by encouraging engagement with the grassroots feminist movement, supporting advocacy efforts, and bringing the recommendations of Libyan women to national and international fora. Our joint aim is to redesign the peace table, as the only solution to ensure women’s meaningful participation in the peace process.

Dr Rida Altubuly: “Even if women are not part of the fights in Libya, we should be part of the solution.”

“Even if women are not part of the fights in Libya, we should be part of the solution.”

Dr Rida Al-Tubuly
President and Director
of Together We Build It

WILPF Partners

WILPF partners with Together We Build It (TWBI), a non-profit Libyan organisation founded and launched in 2011, to empower women and youth to participate in the political and public spheres and support the peaceful democratic transition in Libya. 

 WILPF supports TWBI’s efforts to advocate with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and UN member states to redesign the peace table and ensure women’s meaningful participation in the peace process. 

Joint Submission for the 2020 UPR of Libya

Libya UPR 2020 joint submission cover

On the occasion of the 36th Session of the UPR Working Group, WILPF, Together We Build It (TWBI), the Development Organization To Support Youth And Women (DSYW), Alnour Women’s Organization, and I Am a Libyan Woman But My Child Is A Foreigner, jointly submitted a report for the UPR of Libya

The joint submission addresses discrimination against women in law and practice, including unemployment, forced displacement, the targeting of women human rights defenders, the need for women’s meaningful participation in public and political life, as well as humanitarian needs and impacts of conflict on economic and social rights.

Libyan Women Break the Silence

With a goal to raise awareness about the exclusion of Libyan women from the political arena, Together We Build It launched  “You are missing the full picture” campaign in 2018. 

The campaign highlights the international community’s gender-blind approach to Libyan women’s right to meaningfully participate in the political and peace building process. 

Following the success of this initiative, another campaign called Complete the Picture was launched in 2019. Complete the Picture satirised politicians photographed since the Libyan peace talks in groups that excluded women. 

“Voices from Libya”: Expert Libyan Women’s Analysis of the Human Rights Situation on the Ground

Developed by TWBI, “Voices from Libya” provides a space for Libyan women experts from a wide variety of fields to write about and analyse the situation in Libya from a feminist point of view.

Most of the contributing writers have been involved in their respective fields since long before the revolution in 2011. 

They have lived through the hope of changing the situation for women in Libya and have witnessed first-hand various forms of discrimination against women and young people in general.

“Voices from Libya” analyses several topics that need to be addressed on a community level, including the regional and tribal quota system effects; young people’s role in the peace building process in Libya; the political participation of Libyan women in the South; Libyan women in the economic sector; COVID-19 policies; enforced disappearances; and many others.

International Advocacy for an Inclusive Peace Process

Hajer Sharief, WILPF partner and peace activist from Libya briefs UNSC on Libya 2019

WILPF and Together We Build It (TWBI) have developed an advocacy strategy towards an inclusive peace process in Libya. In September 2017, TWBI wrote a letter addressed to the UN Special Envoy to Libya demanding Libyan women’s meaningful participation and inclusion in the peace process.

The letter was followed by a series of discussions between TWBI and the office of the Special Envoy, which eventually led to TWBI’s briefing the Security Council on the situation in Libya in early 2018. 

WILPF worked to complement and amplify these efforts by submitting a written statement to the Human Rights Council on the impact of conflict and instability on Libyan women. We also organised TWBI’s mission to the United Nations in New York City in September 2019, to advocate for stopping the flow of arms to Libya and the design of an inclusive peace process.

Latest Updates

Latest Publications

Joint submission for the Universal Periodic Review of Libya

Building Inclusive Peace:  Gender at the Heart of Conflict Analysis

Feminism at the Frontline: Addressing Women’s Multidimensional Insecurity in Yemen and Libya

Advocacy Documents

 

Melissa Torres

VICE-PRESIDENT

Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani

VICE-PRESIDENT

Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo

PRESIDENT

Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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Demilitarisation

WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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