By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 6 November 2014:
Libyan activist Alaa Murabit recently added two new honours to her long list of accolades.
Murabit . . .[restrict]was named as one of the BBC Top 100 Women, honoured for her work as an activist in Libya and as the founder and president of The Voice of Libyan Women.
When news broke of Murabit’s shortlisting, she wrote on The Voice of Libyan Women’s website: “Honoured to have been listed along with such incredible women from around the world. I pray Insha Allah (God willing) that the work that so many phenomenal and wonderful individuals are doing will only lead to more respectful, safe and humbled societies.”
Additionally, Murabit was selected by UN Women as one of three youth representatives to join its Global Civil Society Advisory Group (GCSAG). According to the announcement, the three youth representatives will be charged with “engaging youth on gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
The UN quoted Murabit: “Gender equality is usually opposed due to a lack of understanding, and it is only thorough dialogue that misconceptions can be addressed. Our strongest opposition have the ability to become our greatest advocates.”
Shortly after the 2011 revolution began Murabit formed The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW )to advocate the rights of women in Libyan society. She sees women as one of Libya’s greatest assets.
VLW focuses its work on three sectors—security for women and girls, economic empowerment and political participation. The group has organised campaigns that draw attention to and seek to end physical violence against women as well as psychological abuse.
They have sought to influence national policies that lead to fair pay and greater economic opportunities for women. VLW has also been very active in mobilising women to get involved in the political arena, even publishing a Libyan Women’s Charter which was submitted to the Constitutional Drafting Assembly.
Murabit is not new to international awards and appointments. In 2012 Al-Jazeera news agency named her the Arab Woman to Watch. 2013 saw her named by Newsweek as one of the 25 Women under 25 to Watch. In 2013 she was awarded the Trust Women Hero Award by Queen Noor of Jordan.
Earlier this year Murabit was chosen as an Advisory Board member for the Global Study to review UN Security Council Resolution 1325, a resolution that focuses on the effects of war on women and recognises the potential for women to have an impact in conflict management and sustainable peace.
Libya has not been a safe environment for activists in recent months. Neither women nor the young have been spared, as evidenced by extremists targeting and killing Salwa Bugaighis in June and Tawfiq Ben Saud in September. Still, Murabit chooses to continue her work from inside the country, taking risks on a daily basis for the cause of women’s rights . [/restrict]