Advocacy: Supporting Women Participation in The Constitution Drafting Committee

March 2014


The Together we Build it organization started advocating for the importance of women’s participation in the committee drafting the Libyan constitution as early as May 19 2012, in a press release, The Together we Build it organization called on all civil society organizations to support Libyan women’s rights and claimed that: women should be adequately represented in the committee by at least 35% of the total number of members; the civil society organizations involved with women’s issues should participate in the selection of women members of the committee, if members would be selected by appointment; selection of women for membership of the committee must consensual away from different political ideologies and not subject to the concept of majority in the National conference.

This project was challenging for The together we Build it Organization because the process of the development of the committee drafting the constitution passed by several stages, where the legislative bodies changed the approach of selecting the members many times over around eighteen months; at the beginning, the legislative body “The National Transitional Council” announced that the committee will be developed by appointment of members, then suggested election, etc..  at the end of the day the legislative body decided going for general election of the committee in February 20 2014, however,  impacted by these frequent changes and swinging between choosing  members by the appointment approach or going for election,  this project included several activities to support women participation in the committee drafting Libyan constitution; activities were designed and conducted relevant to each time period and changes in the selection approach.

Project activities included:

  1. First event:  Together we Build it organization held a round table on June 6 2012 in Tripoli,  included the core civil society organization who joined our organization in order to put the strategy to work on supporting women participation in the committee drafting Libyan constitution.

  2. Second event: supported by UNDP, The Together we build it organization held a meeting in July 2012 in Tripoli, included 45 women from civil society and independent activists;  at this stage, the National Transitional Council proposed to develop the committee by appointment, accordingly, this meeting aimed to put advocacy strategy and to put the criteria  for selecting and nominating women.

  3. Third event: At this stage, the General National Congress proposed selecting the committee drafting the constitution by election; accordingly, The  Together we build it organization held a round table for legal consultation which included legal advisory women, lawyers, and civil society organization in order to be prepared for possible exclusion or limitation of women’s participation.

  4.  Selection of women for nomination: a committee of women activist was created to contact women from all over Libya, and collect their Curriculum Vita; the Curriculum Vita about forty women were collected based on specific criteria and submitted to the relevant committee in the General National Congress.

  5. A campaign to ensure women quota: this campaign was conducted and targeted the committee in charge of drafting the electoral law through several activities including:  social media, National TV channels; contacting the committee in person; sending SMS and emails to the committee members to remind them of their responsibility towards Libyan women. This campaign also, including holding several protests took place in front of the legislative body to support the cause.

  6. A campaign targeted the General National Congress during voting on the electoral Law to  ensure inclusion of women in the committee drafting the constitution; this campaign was conducted in collaboration with four civil society organizations and activities and included social media, national TV channels; collecting signatures of women; targeting political parties to support women; holding meetings and round tables with the General National Congress.