SRSG statement on the occasion of International Women Day 8 March 2017

8 Mar 2017

SRSG statement on the occasion of International Women Day 8 March 2017

“Towards equal participation of women in building Libya’s future”

As we celebrate the International Women Day, I think of the courageous Libyan women who played a key role in sparking the 2011 revolution. Today, women play a pivotal role in preserving their families’ freedom from fear and freedom from want. Unfortunately, they are still too often deprived from a real freedom of speech, and absent from the political life. Only with a fair participation of women in all levels of the Libyan political and social life, can peace security and prosperity be achieved. 

Libyan women have provided critical assistance to vulnerable people affected by armed conflict, something that has been recognized beyond the country’s borders. The women of Libyan population are too often the most affected by the conflict. Libyan women and girls are more vulnerable to kidnapping, physical assault and other forms of violence.

Recently, the courage of Libyan women was applauded across the region and the world when they you stood up fearlessly and united against a travel ban preventing them from traveling outside of Libya.

What women are demanding today will shape the future of young girls and generations to come in Libya, to enjoy a life free from fear, violence, and conflict with access to education, technology and knowledge. There can be no claim of democratic and modern state without their full and active participation in political, social and economic initiatives. 

As recalled by this year’s theme of the International Women Day, by 2030, we must achieve a 50-50 representation of women and men in the workplace, including in decision-making positions in state institutions and civil society organizations. The United Nations will always stay committed to support and empower Libyan women as effective agents for peace in Libya.

I wish all Libyan women, girls and men a successful and fruitful International Women’s Day. Continue to fight for your rights. We, the people of the United Nations will continue to stand by your side. 


Note to Editors

International Women’s Day 2017: The official United Nations theme for International Women's Day, 8 March, 2017 is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030. The world of work is changing, and with significant implications for women. On the one hand, we have globalization, technological and digital revolution and the opportunities they bring, and on the other hand, the growing informality of labour, unstable livelihoods and incomes, new fiscal and trade policies and environmental impacts — all of which must be addressed in the context of women’s economic empowerment.

Resolution 1325: The Security Council adopted resolution (S/RES/1325) on women and peace and security on 31 October 2000. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. Resolution 1325 urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. It also calls on all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict. The resolution provides a number of important operational mandates, with implications for Member States and the entities of the United Nations system.