By Jamal Adel.
Sabha, 11 May 2014:
The second annual women’s conference, sponsored by the Women’s Union in southern Libya, started yesterday in Sebha.
“The second annual women’s conference got underway yesterday, with the participation of a significant number of associations and activists for women’s rights,” Khadeeja Al-Taher, a member of the conference’s preparatory committee, told the Libya Herald. The first women’s conference was held in 2012. In 2013, the conference set up a number of workshops.
The planning committee has specific aims for this year’s conference. “Our primary goal for this conference relates to women and the constitution. Firstly, we want to know what women want, and then we must constitutionalise their rights,” explained Al-Taher.
Another important topic of discussion will be “Women and Security”. “We want to talk about how Libyan women can contribute to stability and peace,” Al-Taher added.
The new Libya is growing and changing. As the young country matures, it is important that women’s issues are raised. As Al-Taher explained, “It is important that the new, free Libya broaden its view of women and consider their needs and what is important to them.”
So far, the conference has attracted a diverse group of women from various backgrounds, as well as men advocating for women’s rights.
“The attendance has been amazing, with many women from all over the south, as well as men, taking part in the event,” Hafsa Mohammed Basher, a women’s rights activist and member of the Women’s Union, told this newspaper.
“At the end of the day, we will review the outcomes of the discussions during the conference meetings and make recommendations. We want to make every effort to put our plans into action,” she added.
Unpredictable security conditions may have prevented some officials and other invitees from attending the conference in Sebha. “Despite the security situation, the turnout has been quite encouraging. Regardless of security setbacks in the future, we intend to keep up with issues concerning women’s rights and will work hard to keep in contact with the constitutional committee,” said Basher. [/restrict]