Najla el-Mangoush, Libya’s first woman foreign minister, is set to be sworn in next week as part of Libya’s newly appointed interim unity government. Prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh announced the addition of the female foreign minister this week. Many Libyan women welcomed her appointment to the top of the table with joy. One such woman Afia Mohammed 34, a pastry maker in Tripoli, couldn’t hide her happiness. She said she believed the appointment of Najla was a win for all women in Libya. A woman reaching the head of government in Libya would likely encourage more women to enter politics.
Foreign Minister joining some other Four Women in the Cabinet.
Najla el Mangoush, a lawyer, briefly held a role in Libya’s transitional council when it governed Libya for a short while after its 2011 uprising. She will join her new role as foreign minister by some other four women in the cabinet. Those women will include Halima Abdulrahman as justice minister.
United Nations Talks Bear Fruit
United Nations talks led to the endorsement of Prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh’s interim government. A total of 75 Libyan delegates selected by the United Nations took part in the negotiations. The newly appointed government is mandated to unify Libya’s divided state institutions and oversee national elections in December.
When the talks ended, delegates laid out a new government’s commitment to include women in 30% of senior government roles, including in top cabinet posts. Currently, Prime Minister Dbebibeh’s government only has 15% of women representatives in his cabinet. But this proportion will rise when deputy ministers become appointed. Elham Saudi, a lawyer and delegate present during the talks, termed the appointment of the 15% so far as a stepping stone towards fuller representation. She said the appointments so far had occurred as the women delegates were relentless on women’s inclusion in government posts.
Women Delegates fight for Representation in Government.
When the first U.N.-led talks began in Tunis, women delegates faced a barrage of sexist online abuse. The women delegates met this kind of harsh treatment because they had different political issues. But even after this, the few representatives of the female gender stood firm with their ideologies. They choose to continue fighting for opportunities for women to join the government in sovereign positions.
When the Libyan government crashed in 2011, and the myriad warring factions seized territory, women faced a wave of violence. From that year onward, those in official positions were nearly all men. The men in Libya opposed women from having a significant public role all across Libya. Those in government did not agree with women running cabinet ministries or state institutions. But this year, the new interim unity government looks to change the narrative. Prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh stated women in government would be good for Libya. On the other hand, Hanan Malouda selling beauty products, believes women in government will have more compassion for other women.