Tripoli, 29 May 2103:
The UN has called for rules to be put in place to ensure that a sufficient number of . . .[restrict]women are elected to the 60-member Constitutional Commission.
There needs to be a “meaningful participation of women” in the Commission, says the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).
It points out that of the 34 women elected to Congress, only one was elected as an individual candidates out of 120 chosen. The other 33 were elected because of a special measure put in place in the elections. For the 80 seats contested under the party list system, parties had to present a list for each constituency in which males and females candidates alternated. It meant that in constituencies where a party won more than one seat, a female candidate was among the winners.
Under the proposals currently being presented to Congress by the drafting committee headed by Congressman Suleiman Zubi, there will be no seats reserved for woman. All candidates will stand as individuals.
Libyan women’s groups fear that this will result in no women being elected.
Women, said UNSMIL, 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.”
It called on Congress adopt what it called “special measures” in the elections to the Constitutional Commission to ensure women were elected. “The elections of 2012 serve as an exemplary example of the positive impact of special measures on women’s representation.” It noted that such measures, including quotas, were in line with international standards and obligations.
UNSMIL added that promoting women’s rights was a priority for it. It laid particular stress on the importance of women in public life.
“The mission will continue in its efforts to offer assistance and support to pertinent national bodies for broader women’s participation in the political process”.