The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security on 31 October 2000.
As we mark its 20th anniversary, the Ambassador of the European Union to Libya and the Ambassadors of EU Member States accredited to Libya reaffirm their support for a full and meaningful inclusion and participation of women in the peace process at this historical juncture and their strong condemnation of all forms of violence against women and girls. We fully support the efforts of UNSMIL to include women in the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum.
Women in Libya are disproportionately affected by the conflict. They have been targeted, threatened, abducted, sexually violated, and killed. Nearly 200,000 girls and women have been displaced. Almost 18,000 women and girls are registered as refugees and asylum seekers and thousands of female migrants remain under permanent threat of abuse.
Women activists have been strong voices for peace in Libya since 2011. Libyan women networks have courageously lobbied for change, formulated common demands, assisting humanitarian actors for a more gender-sensitive response, and promoted dialogue both on local levels and nationwide. Yet women have remained largely excluded from the political arena and a truly meaningful participation in peace negotiations, and widespread gender-based violence continues to undermine the full exercise of their rights. Women like Salwa Bugaighis and Siham Sergiwa became victims of violence in their fight for the right to participate in political life, decision-making and in shaping the future of their country.
Women must be included as actors and not only be seen as victims. The 23 October ceasefire agreement is an opportunity for Libya to give women their rightful place as peacebuilders to reach a more sustainable peace.