United Nations Support Mission in Libya Statement on The International Women’s Day

8 Mar 2021

United Nations Support Mission in Libya Statement on The International Women’s Day

8 March 2021

Today, the world celebrates International Women’s Day, which is marked globally under the theme of “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,”. And as we celebrate the 8th of March International Women’s Day, we take time to reflect on issues of gender equality and women empowerment in Libya and recognize the progress Libyan women have made. In 2021, we celebrate the advancement of women’s agenda, including through the participation of 16 women representatives in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) .

We took note of the clear pledge and commitment included in paragraph 5.6. of the Roadmap for the Comprehensive Solution, adopted in Tunis by the LPDF, which states that women's representation in leadership positions in the unified temporary executive authority shall be no less than 30%. UNSMIL also took note of the individual pledges made by candidates in this regard and urges the Prime Minister-designate to honour this commitment in the formation of the government.

Despite the hurdles and challenges they face; Libyan women have shown sound resilience and determination to move forward and to positively influence the political process in Libya.

“For over a decade, Libyan women have been struggling for a greater and meaningful role in public life, for justice, their rights, equality, for health and prosperity of themselves and their families,” said the Secretary-General Special Envoy for Libya and Head of UNSMIL, Ján Kubiš.

Since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the adoption of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and its subsequent resolution, Libyan women have worked hard every year to confront and to tackle persistent barriers to gender equality and women and girl’s empowerment.

As we witness the grave impact of COVID-19 on women and girls, and the economic fallout that has a regressive impact on them, women in Libya are faced with the increasing burden of unpaid care and household work and enduring the grave consequences of COVID 19. Yet Libyan women have contributed and continue to contribute to protecting civilians, women, and children, and taking part in institutional reforms.

The contribution made by the Libyan women in building peace has been translated in their active engagement through human, economic, urban, political, and cultural reconstruction, academic participation, whether in research, science, professional education, health, architectural, economic, and other fields. Libyan women have been at the forefront of calling for peace in Libya and for a greater role for women in the peace processes at the national and international levels, this has been reflected in their diverse achievements and their inspirational contributions in peacebuilding efforts, and their sound representation at the LPDF.

The UN will continue its advocacy outreach the Libyan authorities to advance and empower women’s agenda and to address the need of women and fully integrate women in the decision-making process including by upholding the  30% commitment to representation for women in senior executive positions.

“The United Nations remains committed to supporting the empowerment of Libyan women, through fair participation in all levels of the Libyan political, economic, and social life, as a catalyst towards sustainable peace, unity, security, and prosperity,” added Special Envoy, Kubiš.

UNSMIL will continue to work with and support Libyan women in the next stages of the transition to facilitate their effective and meaningful participation in political life, peacebuilding and reconstruction processes in Libya.

 We are committed to work together with the unified temporary executive authority towards the accomplishment of women’s agendas.

UNSMIL will continue to strengthen the gender perspective in its work to promote gender-sensitive policies and political outcomes and provide support to women to secure their meaningful participation at all levels. We will use this year to focus on the implementation of the commitments we have all agreed on, we are looking forward to witnessing positive change in the Libyan women representation in the political process and political offices.

The United Nations system in Libya will continue to work with all Libyans to support them in the democratic transition, advance women’s participation in political life, and empower women as they contribute to peacebuilding and state-building on robust and effective foundations.

UNSMIL family wishes all Libyan women and girls a Happy International Women’s day!