Libya-UN Discuss Addressing Violence against Women

Libya-UN Discuss Addressing Violence against Women
Libya-UN Discuss Addressing Violence against Women

On Wednesday, the Libyan Minister of State for Women’s Affairs, Houria Al-Tarmal held a meeting with representatives of the United Nations Women’s Commission in Libya.

They touched on ways to “combat the various forms of violence, especially cyber, to which Libyan women running for elections and taking part in political life are subjected.”

Al-Tarmal affirmed the “serious efforts being taken to apply the cybercrime law, establish a governmental mechanism to reduce the suffering of vulnerable women, and support their safe participation in the electoral life at this critical stage in Libya.”

Earlier, the Minister of State met with the French Ambassador to Libya, Mostafa Mihraj.

The Ambassador affirmed his support for advancing the protection and empowerment of Libyan women.

In January, the Women’s Support Unit at Libya’s High National Elections Commission (HNEC) launched a platform to monitor violence against women in elections.

According to the Commission’s statement, the platform, which is organized with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), “is one of the most important projects of the unit’s plan for the year 2023.”

Rabab Halab, a member of HNEC stated that the platform “would provide recommendations alerting the need to draft laws that would deter anyone who infringes on women’s rights, from participating in the electoral process.”

She explained that the platform is used in many countries, including Tunisia, Lebanon, and Peru. This is to enhance the integrity of elections, fight false and misleading news and hate speech, and monitor electoral irregularities.

Notably, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) indicated, through anecdotal information and data, that women are victims of online violence including receiving inappropriate messages, hate speech, and blackmailing.

“With the use of social media increasing in Libya, increased protection against online abuse and harassment is needed. Women should be empowered and protected to express their views on the political, economic, and social developments of their countries,” said UN Envoy, Abdoulaye Bathily.

“UNSMIL also encouraged all Libyan authorities to promote an environment that respects freedom of expression, and combats hate speech and violence against women and girls,” he added.