Jurists without Chains (JWC) has recently launched a charter of Honour on "Women’s Participation in Political Life and Peace-making" which was signed by a number of political leaders and activists, decision-makers and opinion leaders in Libya. The Charter aims at reaching a politically and morally binding text to strengthen the status of women and their role in political life and the construction of peace which cannot be achieved if women are excluded from the political scene.
The Charter consists of ten basic points that serve and contribute to the development of Libya in various fields, and to its stability and security. These points would also ensure peaceful coexistence of all components of the Libyan people. These points are:
- The importance of the new constitution explicitly stating the right of Libyan women to participate in political and public life without restrictions and on an equal footing with men. This should be followed by the development of the legislative system to achieve justice and equality for women and guarantee the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
- Elimination of all barriers preventing women from exercising their political rights such as joining political parties, voting and running for general, legislative and municipal elections. These barriers must also be criminalized and considered as violations of women’s rights.
- Adoption of the quota system to ensure the representation of women in the legislative councils and municipalities by a minimum of 30%.
- Increasing the participation of women in political decision-making positions such as State ministries, government institutions and departments and Libyan embassies abroad, in addition to empowering women in the justice sector, such as the judiciary, the prosecution and law enforcement agencies on the basis of experience and competence.
- Declaring commitment to the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 on women and peace through the adoption of a national Implementation plan, while ensuring full equality between women and men in the preparation and implementation of the plan at the national level.
- Increasing the participation of women in the Supreme Council for National Reconciliation to reach 50%, given that women are an essential component of civil peace.
- Strengthening cooperation with United Nations agencies to protect the rights of women, and committing to the implementation of the international obligations of the Libyan State under international human rights conventions, especially the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women which Libya joined in 1989.
- Engaging women in ending internal conflicts and ethnic divisions and enhancing the role of women in achieving peace and transitional justice.
- Engaging women in the development and implementation of national plans to protect women from internal conflicts and their effects and to develop prevention and protection interventions for girls and women victims of conflict.
- Engaging women in national reconstruction and development plans in various sectors.
Earlier in July, JWC had organized two sessions on the preparation of “Charters of Honour” and their role in changing policies, in cooperation with international human rights trainer and expert Mohamed Hamdan from Palestine. Mr. Hamdan shared his experiences and knowledge remotely through the Internet.
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