UNSMIL Calls for Active Participation of Libyan Women in Constitution-Drafting Process

29 May 2013

UNSMIL Calls for Active Participation of Libyan Women in Constitution-Drafting Process

Tripoli 29 May 2013

- It is no secret that the drafting of the Constitution and the preparations involved are of special significance to Libya's democratic transition towards stability and prosperity. Representation and meaningful participation of women in the Constitution-Drafting Assembly and in the process of drafting the Constitution will consequently contribute to the building of the new Libya.

Libyan women played a significant role in sparking the 17 February Revolution, many risking their lives or making the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of freedom. They worked tirelessly to consolidate the values of the revolution in building an inclusive state of law and equality, and impressively participated in the country's first free elections in over four decades.

These efforts continue today, particularly by groups working to enhance women's role in public life, as preparations are underway for the elections of the Constitution-Drafting Assembly, which is to be followed by the drafting of the Constitution and then putting the proposed Constitution to a referendum.

In this context, we must recall that the election of 33 women to the General National Congress was due in large part to the Special Measure adopted for the elections which allowed 32 of them to win seats. Special Measures for women, including quotas, are effective tools in helping increase women's political participation and are in line with international standards and obligations.

The elections of 2012 serve as an exemplary example of the positive impact of Special Measures on women representation, not only for Libya but for the whole world. Therefore, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) urges the decision-makers and others concerned to consider adopting Special Measures in the elections to the Constitution-Drafting Assembly.

Promoting women's rights is a priority for UNSMIL. The Mission will continue in its efforts to offer assistance and support to pertinent national bodies for broader women participation in the political process.

The Mission also will continue to advocate for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women with a view to achieving equality with men in enjoying political rights and freedoms.

The United Nations in Libya affirms its commitment to stand by the Libyan people in its democratic transition with all its requirements, particularly with regard to the participation of women in public life.