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Women’s organisation in Libya raises COVID-19 awareness

Published on Thursday, 9 April 2020

The Libyan Women’s Union have issued a booklet, with support from CMI, aimed at raising awareness of the spread of COVID-19 through the union’s networks countrywide.

Fathia Bakabakhi from Libyan Women’s Union.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, local actors are on the frontlines of the crisis in places where governments are overwhelmed or simply unable to provide the information and care needed. Libya is an example on how local actors are essential to the response and recovery process. The knowledge of the regional organisations and associations, in countries such as Libya, can inform and improve interventions.

The Libyan Women’s Union (LWU) is an organisation with long-established historical ties between the different regions of the country. Its added value is the generational continuity of female activism, and its capacity to deliver targeted campaigns.

In April 2020, the LWU published a booklet, with CMI’s support, aimed at raising awareness, through the LWU’s networks countrywide, of the spread of COVID-19.

Libyan Women’s Union hosted discussion on the Berlin process in February 2020.

Leveraging the existing networks to advance women’s voice and agency in Libya 

Last year, the LWU led the UN Women campaign on 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence in Libya. The campaign is used as a coordinating strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to act for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

In the previous 12 months, 243 million women and girls across the world have been subjected to sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, this number is likely to grow with multiple impacts on women’s wellbeing, their sexual and reproductive health, and their ability to participate and lead in the in the societal and economic recovery processes. In countries affected by acute conflict, such as Libya, the recovery processes will be closely interlinked with the conflict dynamics and resolution efforts.

Leveraging the existing networks of women-led organisations, that cross conflict and regional divides, is vital for advancing the voices of women and decision-making in COVID-19 preparedness, response and societal recovery. To this end, the Libyan Women’s Union continues to operate and carry out projects and activities under challenging circumstances.