Women’s Rights Advocates in Libya

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Ongoing instability and conflict in Libya has had massive impact on women and Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs), as reports the WHRD Coalition in the Middle East and North Africa. A new report, entitled The Status of Women Human Rights Defenders in Libya, details the complex political situation in Libya and the impact that this has had on the lives of women and girls.

Political fragmentation, conflict, and religious extremism have characterised the political landscape in Libya since the fall of Gaddafi. There are accusations of serious human rights abuses against all sides, which in many cases amount to war crimes. The rights of women are continuously violated, with the Grand Mufti of Libya declaring fatwas against the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and against women traveling without a male guardian.

In Libya, there have been numerous attacks on Human Rights institutions, with many NGOs being raided and subsequently shut down. WHRDs are particularly at risk of violence due to both their gender and their work. They are attacked by all sides of the conflict, and a number of prominent WHRDs have been assassinated in recent years.

Read the full report from the WHRD Coalition in North Africa and the Middle East here.

Read about WI’s past and current Libya programme working with local women’s rights groups and organisations.