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Gender and Transition in Libya - Mapping women’s participation in post-conflict reconstruction

More than three years after the end of the Gaddafi regime, Libya is struggling to end a vicious circle of violence in order to take steps towards reconciliation and durable peace. This paper analyses the ongoing transitional period in Libya from a gender perspective.

It maps the most pressing concerns of the post-conflict transition: women’s lack of security in both public and private spaces, the silence around conflict-related sexual violence in transitional justice processes, the struggles for political representation and gender-sensitive electoral processes, the challenges of including both men and women in reconciliation efforts, and the lack of sustained international engagement for gender justice in Libya.

It is argued that women’s security concerns remain unaddressed, and that formal and informal structures interact to exclude women from decision-making and transitional justice processes. At the same time the study shows that women in Libya take an active role in the political transformation and have made some inroads into traditionally male domains of politics.

Authors: Johanna Mannergren Selimovic holds a PhD in Peace and Development Research, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and is currently a research fellow at The Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Her research concerns peacebuilding with a special interest in reconciliation processes, politics of memory, and gender. She is currently involved in two research projects: Gender and Transitional Justice, and Divided Cities - Challenges to Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and Development.

Disa Kammars Larsson holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in Middle Eastern studies from Lund University. Disa co-wrote this paper as part of her fellowship at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in 2014. Currently, Disa is a project manager at the Swedish NGO Operation 1325, responsible for projects in the Middle East and North Africa.

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