USAID/Libya Convenes Group of Women Municipal Councilors

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Libyan Women Municipal Councilors hold up the names of their cities; seated at center is the Mayor of Seminole City, Florida

USAID/Libya partners recently convened a group of women municipal councilors from across Libya as part of their efforts to build and develop a national-level network of women leaders and to launch a Women’s Municipal Council Association. The 4-day workshop, brought together 45 female municipality council members, from west, east, and south of Libya including Tripoli districts, Zawiya, Sabha, Wazen, Sabratha, Tarhouna, Zultin, Kabaw, and Murzug. Three civil society members and four government representatives from the Ministry of Local Governance (MoLG) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs also participated in the event.

The focus of the sessions were intended to enhance and continue to foster the development of a women municipal councilor network, while also providing individual-level support for the women. The sessions ranged from strategic planning, women’s role in governances, peace and security, as well as a special session led by Mayor of Seminole City Florida, Leslie Waters, on knowledge-sharing and education on governance tools. In a separate moderated session, the women discussed the draft constitution and its intended benefits and shortcomings with regards to women. USAID partners also created an opportunity for the women to meet with members of the Constitutional Drafting Assembly officials to discuss the women’s concerns relating to the constitution. The four-day event also created an opportunity for the Libyan women to network with Women’s Democracy Network’s Tunisian chapter of women activists. Concurrently, the male attendees also benefited from a training that was aimed at creating awareness and increasing men’s support for gender equality and women’s leadership as well as deepening their understanding of the benefits of collaboration between men and women. 

“Libya needs women and their skills, hard work, commitment and compassion. All Libyans benefit by the participation of Libyan women in public life. The Libyan men who support them and advocate for their inclusion are partners in a bright future for Libya,” said, guest of honor and US Embassy-Libya Charge D’Affairs Helen LaFave.

The women will now return to Libya and while continuing their work at the local-levels, will also work on building an organizational structure for national and local levels and work on developing and formalizing the women’s municipal association.