Tripoli, 22 June:
In the lead-up to the forthcoming National Assembly elections on 7 July, female candidates will have the support of . . .[restrict]a national campaign entitled ‘My Voice for Her.’
The Libyan Women’s Union and Maan Nabneeha Movement have launched the national campaign under the supervision of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). ‘My Voice for Her’ will encourage and boost over 600 female candidates in the elections. It will also support and encourage women voters.
A total of 625 women are standing in the July elections, 540 of whom represent the 130 political parties fielding candidates. The election laws have required the application of a “butterfly-ballot” system, with male and female candidates put forward alternately. The 540 women represent almost half of the candidates for the 80 seats reserved for political parties. There are 662 male candidates chasing the same seats.
Among the candidates for the 120 seats reserved for individuals in the assembly, women are also under-represented. Of the 2,500 hopefuls here, only 85 are women. Clealry female candidates have focused their election efforts on the party lists. After the appeals process, 15 female candidates were disqualified by the Integrity Commission.
The ‘My Voice for Her’ initiative is part of the UNDP’s Women’s Empowerment programme, which focuses on gender equality. The UNDP explained: “We work to ensure that women have a real voice in all governance institutions, from the judiciary to the civil service, as well as in the private sector and civil society, so they can participate equally with men in public dialogue and decision-making and influence the decisions that will determine the future of their families and countries.”
The first event in the campaign will be held on 25 June at 17.15 at Tripoli’s Radisson Blu Hotel. It will include speeches from Prime Minister Abdurrahim Al-Kib, NTC chairman, Mustafa Abdul Jalil and Nuri Al-Abbar, Chairman of the High National Electoral Commission.
More than 500 women candidates have been invited, as well as representatives of ministries, embassies and international partners of UNDP. [/restrict]