Libyan activists design a peace campaign


An article from Relief Web

Women and men activists from Libyan civil society organizations met in Tunis from 12 to 15 December to continuing the process of preparing a campaign aimed at fostering the culture of peace, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence in Libya. The idea of the campaign came as a result of two conferences, the first held in late 2015 to develop the Libyan women peace agenda and the second held early 2017 to develop an action plan to implement the agenda. In the training, the participants learned about conflict analysis tools and why it is important to include women in the peace process for the global peace and security. They also learnt lobby and advocacy skills to present the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325) to Libyan people over the course of the campaign.

A Participant talks about UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. © UNDP

During the workshop, organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the seven designated focal points for Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, Obari, Sebha, Albaida and Zawia, and their team members gained a better understanding of the UNSCR 1325 and became well versed on the best ways of communicating about it.

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Question for this article:

UN Resolution 1325, does it make a difference?

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“I am now better prepared to start the campaign in my hometown. This workshop has allowed me to develop my presentation and communication skills. It has also deepened my understanding of the objectives and means of implementing the UNSCR 1325”, said Ms. Leila Bousif from Benghazi, President of Aoun organization for Human Rights.

The participants also discussed the role of women in peaceful coexistence since the campaign, called “Peace Libya,” intends to raise women awareness of the principles of peace and community cohesion.

“Libyan women are not very active in achieving peace, but they always leaning towards it. There won’t be stability in Libya without women`s participation. Although they are paying a high price because of the war, they must play a more active and positive role to end it,” added Ms. Bousif.

“Peace Libya” campaign will be launched next year with this core message: “promotion of peaceful coexistence is the responsibility of every Libyan citizen.”

“Knowing how to transmit the messages of the campaign to local communities is a very important mater. Libya is a diverse country. At the end of the training, I felt happy because I learned new skills to communicate with people from diverse cultural background,” said Rabha Farcy.

During the training, some participants pointed out that exposing women to the UNSCR 1325 can encourage many of them to play a more active role in peace building in Libya.

“As part of the Peace Libya campaign and based on the skills I have gained in this training, I will try to explain the UNSCR 1325 to as many women as possible when I head back to Libya. Participation in the peacebuilding process is not exclusive to men. Women should also make their voices heard,” said Ms. Asia Shwihdi from Misrata.

The training was organized as part of the project ‘Advancing Libyan Women’s Participation During the Transition.’ Known as AMEL project, it aims to strengthen the role of Libyan women in the political transition.