Policy Brief: A Roadmap to Sustainable Peace in Libya – A Feminist Approach towards Achieving Peace and Security in the Face of Patriarchy, Militarism, and Fundamentalism
This policy brief is written in November 2018 by Together We Build It Organization and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Its recommendations are based on the findings in a series of national consultations conducted in August 2018 by Together We Build It Organization.
Libya stands at the cusp of a transitional phase, within the shadow of a complex crisis in which dimensions of patriarchal culture overlap with ideas of masculinity, militarism and fundamentalism, giving rise to multiple political actors with competing interests, priorities and agendas. The interaction between these factors has increased the extent of women’s exclusion and created obstacles to their participation in political efforts, which lack clarity on the issues of ending violence, ensuring security and achieving sustainable peace.
This systemic exclusion of women from the political sphere and international dialogue on Libya has resulted in the smothering of women’s participation and voices and the absence of a feminist approach to peace and security, rendering discourse on the gendered impact of the crisis invisible. This, in turn, inhibits the possibility of women’s needs and priorities being included in any roadmap to peace or future agreements. Yet, women’s resilience and their insistence on participation has created parallel and alternative routes, which have greatly contributed to preventing and decreasing violence in several regions. However, these women’s initiatives will continue to be restricted to the individual and local levels so long as there is an absence of political will and concrete steps to engage women at all stages and in all regions. Thus, the attainment of a rights-based sustainable peace that attends to the individual needs and priorities of a diversity of communities and citizens will continue to lag.
Stemming from our belief in the importance of inclusively engaging women in peace processes while recognising their diverse needs, experiences and voices, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and Together We Build It (TWBI), insisted on acknowledging the Libyan feminist discourse around the crisis by organising three national consultations with different representatives of women’s organisations in Sabha, Tripoli, and Benghazi in August 2018. These consultations aimed at ensuring women’s representation from different regions; a total of 33 women and 3 men participated in the meetings, representing 20 civil society and feminist organisations. This policy brief aims to analyse the outcomes and specifics of the feminist discourse that was collated as an output of the three consultations.