Following the first part, this is the second part of the report made on the survey about women in leadership positions launched by Huna Libya and Together We Build It (TWBI). The survey was answered by 5716 respondents, 60% were women (50% of them had higher education which entailed 79% of our targeted group of respondents.) In this second part we will continue analyzing the answers we received.
The Third Question: From young people’s perspective; What is keeping women in Libya from taking leadership positions?
This question had a number of answers, whether the obstacles were political, religious, biological or nothing is stopping women, it allowed multiple choices unless they chose nothing is stopping women.
Unlike the other questions in the survey, this question was followed by an open space for respondents to explain their answer and why they chose it. We felt that Some of the answers were based on predisposed idea resulting from events that the respondents witnessed and not on their beliefs about women leadership. We will be viewing those answers in the third report so keep an eye out for it.
The majority of respondents of both genders chose the same answer which was society or societal restrictions on women, the second most chosen answer by female respondents was the security situation in Libya, while men chose religious reasons as their second most picked answer.
Which was obvious by their use of religious scriptures and incorrect beliefs about female capabilities as reasons for their answers. Lack of qualifications was not a popular answer, it was the fourth most picked by men and fifth by women. There is nothing stopping them got 13% from female respondents and 11% male respondents.
Fourth Question: what are your thoughts on the following sentences?
We wrote three sentences presenting different ideas and had the respondents choose between three options (I agree, I disagree and I don’t know)
The first sentence was, “it does not matter if a leader is a man or a woman”:
- 62% of respondents picked I agree . (74% of all female respondents chose this answer).
- I disagree was picked by 31% of respondents, majority were men.
- And I don’t know was chosen by only 7% of respondents.
The second sentence was “ women might not be able to do the job properly”:
The general view people had on this subject were unsurprisingly the same, 53% disagreed, most were women (66% of all female respondents). only 37% of respondents agreed, while “I don’t know” was picked by 12% of respondents.
The third and last sentence was: “ women should have more seats in the parliament, ministries and municipalities”:
“I agree” was chosen by 59% (72% of female respondents chose this option). “I disagree” was chosen by 25% of all respondents. ( majority of those who disagree were males). We noticed throughout this survey that most male respondents chose answers that were negative and not supportive of the idea of women in leadership roles. The option “I don’t know” was chosen more here than in other sentences at 16% of all respondents.
Even though this question presented the same idea as the previous two, about whether the respondent truly supported women in leadership positions or not. The number of women agreeing was almost twice the number of men. Female respondents seemed to reject gender-based stereotypes and had a more supportive attitude.
That may have happened because the question was more direct than the others which made taking a stance easier to make because most women know what the problem is but still require gender education to understand its origins.
The fifth question: If a qualified woman was running for a leadership position, would you vote for her?
This direct question had three answers ( yes, maybe and no) the most chosen answer was yes at 68%. ( 80% of all female respondents chose this answer) it was the answer that was most agreed on by all of the women who responded to the survey.
What got our attention was that about 49% of male respondents also chose yes. Which is a different response from other responses on other questions. Maybe it was due to the fact that the title of the position was not mentioned and it was somewhat vague. There also wasn’t space for clarification on whether their answer was based on their beliefs or if they were simply being supportive of women.
We noticed that most direct questions had more positive responses. Especially from female respondents. As opposed to the questions that are more detailed and that are linked to religion or society’s outlook on the subject. Respondents hold back and are more reserved while answering those type of questions which suggests a need for us to discuss in depth (religion and society’s views) to truly be able to reach people and effectively change their perspective on this matter.
Open Ending with Stories of Successful Female Leaders
In the last questions we asked respondents if they knew any successful female leaders and to tell us their stories if they did.
The majority of responders did not know any. While those who shared stories mostly mentioned the same characters most of them with different origins and famously known. Few mentioned Libyan personalities and even those were known in other matters and were not specifically leaders as asked in the questions.
Surprisingly very few mentioned leading Libyan women and what we asked for and that indicates the lack of publicity that the few successful leading women get, especially since they had to fight against many barriers to get to where they are.
This issue should get enough attention in future work supporting women rights. TWBI & Huna Libya has been tirelessly working on this for years, starting many initiatives enhancing rights and spreading awareness. The latest being the #Shes_Leadership campaign which introduced many successful Libyan women from all over the country.
We have reached the end of second part of the report.