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.
“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 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
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
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.