After the fall of Gaddafi’s government, many Libyans are enjoying and celebrating their victory. Yet despite this newly won ‘freedom,’ a tragedy is happening which repeats discriminatory practices towards women. Most significantly, the Interim Council of Libya has urged the removal of the ban on polygamy, an action that reinforces patriarchal laws under the name of Sharia.
In his October 23rd speech at the Libyan liberation ceremony, Mustafa Abdul Jalil the chairman of the Interim Council of Libya, declared that the ban on polygamy is in conflict with Sharia law and should be lifted. This speech, predicting the increased repression of women, troubled many Libyan women. Abdul Jalil’s statement shows that the new priority in Libyan rule is to undermine women’s rights.
The history of women’s crucial roles in revolutions and social transformations, either on or behind the scenes, throughout history is undeniable, but their social, civil, human, and gender rights have still been ignored and degraded.
The fall of Gaddafi’s regime would not have been possible if women had not participated in the struggle. Yet, now after Libya’s hard-won “freedom,” the Interim Council is forcing Libyan women, despite their sacrifices, into peripheral positions and seizing their rights and ‘freedoms.’
The legalization of discrimination against women in Libya and across the region is not new, as this story also occurred in Iran after the Islamic Revolution, in Afghanistan after Taliban came to the power, and in Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s fall and. But what is new is the empowered and conscious women of the world who will not sit in silence in the face of what is happening to themselves and their sisters. Their voice of protest is raised loud in the forms of coalitions, groups, petitions, and blogs. Libyan women are not alone, since our issues are not separated. Not only is discrimination and violence against women a global issue, but also is the protest for the elimination of violence and discrimination a global one.
Today, defending women’s rights in Libya not only will avoid repeating the problematic combination of religion and government that has plagued the region in the past, but also will be a sign of women’s growing international awareness about their rights.
Today, we will stand hand in hand with Libyan women to support their struggle in obtaining equal rights.
We call all the women’s organizations throughout the world to form a protective and solidarity circle with Libyan women.
-Young Women for Change, of Afghanistan
-Appropriate Communication Techniques for Development – ACT
-Le Manifeste des libertés
– Change for Equality
– Fair Family laws
– Focus on Iranian Women
Kurdish women Organsiations:
– Iranian Kurdish Association in Uppsala/Sweden
– Kurdish Women Rights Organisation
-Kurdish Women Center in Köln
-Azar Mehr Women Association
-Kurdish Women Right Activist in FB
Iranian Women Organisations in Germany:
-Iranisch-Deutsch Frauenverein Köln
– Frauen Tribunal e.V. (Hamayesch-e Zanan-e Irani – Hannover / Germany
– Das Frauenprojekt beim Verein Iranischer Flüchtlinge in Berlin e.V
Iranian Women Organisation in Austria:
Independent Society of Iranian Women in Austria
Iranian Women organisations in Canada:
– Association des femmes Iraniennes de Montreal
– Peace mother in Montreal
Iranian Women organsiations in Sweden:
– Iranian Feminist Magazine Avaye Zan
-Feminist dialog organization
-Women United for the Future of the Middle East
-International Coalition Against Violence in Iran(ICAVI)
-International Solidarity Network with Iranian Women’s Movement
-Gender equality for Iran
-The Network of the women’s museums