Project Summary for 2011 – July 2012
You can download the Project Summary for 2011 – July 2012 in PDF Format.
The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW) was initially founded in August 2011 as a result of the February 17 Revolution which renewed not only our hope for equality in Libya, but also renewed the hope of the Libyan society as a whole in their basic human rights, including women’s rights. This hope quickly translated into action, which VLW believes is the best method for any concrete improvement with regards to women’s rights.
Although VLW has grown considerably since its founding, we remain a youth-led organization and have a strong base in our hometown of Zawia. As a group of young Libyan women from different backgrounds, our ultimate goal is to advocate for an increased investment into one of Libya’s greatest resources which unfortunately has yet to receive the attention it deserves: women.
We focus our activities mainly on: improving the political participation and the economic empowerment of women in Libya. We are also active in advocating against gender based violence (GBV).
These past eleven months alone we have managed to organize the first ever International Women’s Conference “One Voice”, undertake the National Women’s Charter, which went on to be named a “Top 5O Inspiring Idea Internationally” by Women Deliver, and train over forty female candidates for the July 7th 2012 National Congress Elections. Of the 33 women elected, seven had been previously trained and had campaigns advised or managed by VLW.
Economically we have fully supported up and coming businesswomen with training, business planning and micro managing. VLW also published the National Policies to Ensure the Economic Empowerment of Women in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor. We currently also support a women’s sewing factory in the Western Mountains. Along with internships in leading Libyan businesses, we also run regular English classes, “Beginning in Business” and “Be the Boss” classes which are run in one of our five nationwide locations.
Our initiatives in psychological and domestic abuse have been noted by influential Libyan figures and international leaders alike. International Purple Hijab Day initiated a conversation about domestic violence, a highly misunderstood subject which is prevalent in many Libyan households, as stated by over 75% of the high school students (aged 14-17) surveyed in Zawia, Tripoli and Misrata on the issue. We have also completed the initial steps of the first assessment of women’s perceptions of security and security provisions in Libya through focus group studies visiting three Libyan cities to date – Sebha, Derna and Zawia – with six more cities to be visited after Eid.
VLW is eagerly beginning new projects as well! In the coming months we will be opening our Permanent Zawia Women’s Center & NGO Hub for Education and Empowerment. The Center, located in downtown Zawia will also create a space for local NGOs to better achieve their potential by giving them adequate means to work and strategize effectively.
We will also be running numerous workshops such as “Putting the Me in Media: Women’s rights, Media and Advocacy”, Human Rights and Women’s rights Education workshops and further training for our elected officials. We are also currently in the midst of influencing the Constitutional Drafting Committee selection. Please take a look at all our work to date (and some upcoming projects) in our Project Summary!
Of course this would all be impossible without the hard work and support of many. Our thanks to the numerous people who have worked with us, taught us and inspired us in these past eleven months. We could not have achieved anything without your support.
The VLW Family