By Sami Zaptia.
London, 29 October 2017:
Ten Libyan NGO activists and two female House of Representatives members attended a seminar in Rome last week entitled ‘‘Women in Libya: combatting ideas and efforts to overcome the main internal and external challenges’’. The two-day event was organized by Italian NGO Minerva and the Italian Foreign Ministry.
The group of Libyan women met on day one with the Italian Deputy Foreign Minister and discussed points of common interest between the two countries including women rights in the constitution, combatting terrorism and illegal migration.
On day two a number of panels consisting of Libyans and Italians met in the Italian Parliament to present and discuss a number of subjects. Minerva presented its research conducted in western and eastern Libya and issues of Libyan youth, the resistance to the Italian-Libyan agreement and resisting extremist thought, were discussed.
On panel two the difficulty in working in Libya, investment in projects to reduce unemployment of youth and women were presented and debated.
The third panel discussed cooperation between Italy and Libya in combatting illegal migration. The final panel presented and discussed the huge thrust that Libyan women and women NGOs could give to spreading the culture of forgiveness and freedoms against religious conservatism and the use of weapons.
There were calls on the international community to do more to help Libya reconstruct and in demining areas previously held by terrorists. The international community was called upon to help rebuild Libya’s airports and the reopening of embassies.
The international community was also criticized for doing less and saying more and for increasing divisions between Libya’s different factions by pursuing different national interests within Libya.