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LIBYA – five women ministers in the new government

Najla al-Mangoush ©Afrik.com

With the establishment of a new government of national unity with the presence of five women ministers, Libya has made great strides towards a return to calm and definitive peace, after almost 10 years of appalling war on its territory. . Even if this female representation in the government is lower than the promises and considered clearly insufficient on the road to parity. By Afrik.com

This is a “major step in advancing women’s rights,” responded UN Women in Libya. A “historic moment for Libyan women,” said US Ambassador Richard Norland. Resulting from a UN process, this new government will have the primary task of pulling the country out of a decade of chaos and divisions, by leading it to national elections in December 2021. But with five women among its members. 26 ministers and six ministers of state, it also marks a relative breakthrough on the gender issue.

An activist from Benghazi (East), named Najla al-Mangoush, has thus been appointed head of Foreign Affairs. This trained lawyer had already made a name for herself in 2011 as a member of the National Transitional Council (CNT), the official body of the 2011 revolution that ousted Colonel Muammar Gaddafi from power. Mabrouka Touki, an academic from Fezzan (south) with a degree in nuclear physics, will be in charge of the Ministry of Culture, while the lawyer Halima Ibrahim Abderrahmane, from Gharyan (west), has inherited the justice portfolio.

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Wafa Al-Kilani and Houria al-Tormal will take the head of the Ministry of Social Affairs and of Women’s Affairs, respectively. If they played a crucial role during the revolt of 2011, Libyan women have gradually been excluded from the transition process, with a weak presence in the transitional bodies and Parliament. The former Government of National Unity (GNA) of Fayez al-Sarraj, installed in 2016 in western Libya, had two women out of around 30 portfolios. The eastern one, unrecognized by the international community, only one.

On social networks, the remarkable presence of women in the government of businessman Abdelhamid Dbeibah is hailed as “a big step”, a “leap for society” and a “promising start” for the return of peace in the country. But the reactions are much more contrasted among activists, who argue that the new executive should do more.

This is the case of Ghalia Sassi, president of the association “Ma’aha” (with her). “We are proud to see Libyan women appointed to positions of sovereignty, but also unhappy that the Prime Minister has failed in his commitment to reserve 30% of positions for women,” she said. While Abdelhamid Dbeibah had pledged to respect this threshold during his campaign, they are ultimately only 15% of his executive.

Source : Afrik.com


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