NATO in, women’s rights out in Libya

This video says about itself:

Libya’s new leader declares that Sharia law will be the ‘main source’ for the new constitution, raising eyebrows. CNN’s Brian Todd reports.

From Women’s eNews in the USA, on Libya:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Libya‘s long-awaited declaration of liberation excluded female voices and raised questions about how the tide might turn on matters of family law. The country’s interim leader faced immediate backlash for endorsing a return to unrestricted polygamy. …

Three days later, after eight months of civil war pitting rebel fighters and defected soldiers against troops loyal to Gadhafi, the North African nation’s new leadership proudly declared its liberation. High ranking officials of the now governing National Transitional Council took the stage one after the other to pay passionate tribute to Libya’s martyrs–their sons and brothers, but also their mothers, their wives and sisters — building up momentum to Abdul-Jalil’s speech.

Not a single woman was on the stage to take credit for her role throughout the revolution or to set the tone on matters of direct personal relevance to women, such as the needs of war widows or the Libyan family code.

Libya’s current family law, partly based on the Maliki school of Sunni Islam, includes several progressive protections for women that are not found in personal status laws of other Arab countries, according to Freedom House International, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. It sets the minimum legal age for marriage at 20 and gives women the opportunity to negotiate their marriage rights before entering the agreement. Mothers by law get custody in divorce, while fathers remain financially responsible.

“It is particularly worrying that, at such a crucial moment of a new democracy, women don’t have a public voice,” said Marianne Mollman, senior policy adviser for Amnesty International, the London-based rights watchdog.

The absence of a female voice at the podium made it clear that women will have to fight if they want to be equal shareholders–or even just represented–in the transition to democracy, said Liesl Gerntholtz, director of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch in New York.

Maiduguri — Thirty days in the desert after fleeing the crisis-torn Libya, 450 Nigerians yesterday arrived Maiduguri, Borno State, with tales of rape, torture and loss of their personal effects to the fighters opposed to the regime of late Col. Muammar Gaddafi: here.

38 thoughts on “NATO in, women’s rights out in Libya

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