The peaceful uprisings that sparkled in 2011 in Libya and Yemen transformed into violent armed conflicts, characterized by internal insecurity and severe proliferation of arms. This transformation significantly limited the space for women and restricted their involvement in the peace processes, despite them constituting forces for revolutionary change at the beginning of the uprisings.
WILPF and partners in Yemen and Libya worked together to identify, analyse, and address the multidimensional insecurities women are forced to confront. In 2017, we held consultancies to highlight the extent to which women’s experiences of direct involvement in peace and security have impacted on how they continue to see themselves today. This report sums up the outcome of these consultancies.
The main findings are drawn from transcripts of discussions held in various cities in Yemen and Libya by our partners who reported on women’s experiences during the conflicts. They held focus group discussions (FGDs) with women leaders, IDPs and women of ethnic minority in informal settings. Most participants reported that the widespread presence and use of arms as a key peace and security priority that needs to be addressed, as it caused a significant decrease in their mobility and hence made women invisible once more.
Throughout this report, WILPF and Partners stress on highly localised, community-based approaches, to understand and combat violence. We strongly believe that supporting such micro-level engagements will keep alive some of the spirit that women showed when they first joined the public space opened by the uprisings.