Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace launches a Charter of Libyan Women’s Constitutional Rights
By Libya Herald Staff.
Malta, 24 January 2015:
After a series of workshops and wide consultations since 2013 on the Constitution, the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP) launched a Charter of Libyan Women’s Constitutional Rights last week.
Zahra Langhi, Cofounder and Director of LWPP said that LWPP has been working on building consensus about the Constitution’s most controversial issues such as the role of Sharia law and international conventions in the constitution, as well as charting women’s priorities and rights.
In November 2014, LWPP organized a roundtable of Libyan experts to discuss women’s rights in the constitution between Sharia law international conventions. The workshop convened a number of female civil society leaders, youth activists, judges, legal experts, academics, religious leaders from the League of Libyan Ulama and Al-Azhar, and the head of the Civil Rights Committee in the Constitutional Drafting Committee, Langhi explained.
Explaining further, Langhi added that basic theme in the workshop was the possibility of reconciliation between Sharia and international conventions through creating platforms of mutual understanding and common language between human/women’s rights activists and religious leaders. The workshop covered the theoretical Islamic issues along with the Libyan legal and social context.
The meeting ended with a set of recommendations constitutionalizing women’s rights in the Libyan Constitution. These recommendations constituted the bulk of the Charter of Libyan Women’s Constitutional Rights.
The workshop was followed by another consultation meeting on the 14th of January this year where LWPP convened again civil society activists, legal experts with the Head of the Civil Rights Committee in the CDA. Participants made a critical (rights approach) reading of the draft of the Constitution.
The draft was seen as a compilation of proposals by the committee of the CDA, and the committees’ proposals or chapters were found to be conflicting with no homogeneity in the draft of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, LWPP has continued its wide consultations with female civil activists and lawyers from a wide spectrum of ideological and cultural backgrounds on the draft of the Charter of Libyan Women’s Constitutional Rights.
“The Charter was inspired by the principles of equality & dignity rooted in Islamic Sharia along with universal principles of human rights. Most importantly it is a Charter drafted by the local voices. It’s a Charter by Libyan women for Libyan women”, said Langhi.
The Charter of Libyan Women’s Constitutional Rights covers women’s civil rights, rights to peace and security, social and cultural and economic rights, and political rights.
Shahrazad Kablan, education and media consultant and a member of the drafting team of the Charter, explaining why she took part in the Charter, said “the constitution is the framework by which we ensure and protect justice, the common good, the general welfare and posterity for all men and women.”
Hanan Dakhil Ghosheh, a freelance writer and activist who was part of the drafting process of the Charter noted ; “To me, the Constitution represents a watershed opportunity to push the “reset” button surrounding the debate on Libyan women’s rights and our struggle for equality and social justice. It will either catapult us forward so we may join the rest of the modern world as our starting point or set us back at least another generation or two”.