Men or women alone cannot bring big socio-political changes. But the role of women is often ruthlessly ignored and belittled. Libya is a country where the women populace has never been taken seriously. They were not allowed to join politics or hold a powerful position in the society. Women were tools for men to succeed but their individuality was never accepted. The reason behind the torment that the Libyan women went through is Muammar Gaddafi. Recently the completion of two years after power was snatched away from the hands of the dictator.
Women of Libya have started dreaming of a bright future when they would have social and political rights equal to men. According to Hana Al Orfi, a young Libyan woman who wants to join politics, women played a vital role in the Civil War. They supported, nursed and cooked for the men. Being the power behind the men doesn’t mean that they do not have a voice of their own and given chance they too want to participate actively in the political matters. Several years of male domination has not broken the backbone of the women citizens of Libya.
After the fall of Gaddafi, women now want to take up a more responsible role. It is not easy to change the political system that has been long under a dictator into a democratic one and the present politicians are struggling to achieve this feat. Discussions are going on to include women and start a quota system for them to make them a part of the committee which will amend the constitution. According to Shahrazad Magrabi, the head of the Libyan Woman’s Forum, the men of Libya has a negative attitude towards women empowerment that makes them want to be the providers and protectors instead of letting women make their own fate. Such attitude is always very deep rooted and cannot be removed easily.
In a tourist guidebook written by Philip Ward in 1969, anyone who wanted to take pictures of Libyan women would have to take the permission of a man who is near. In 2012 the scenario shifted a lot when more than 600 women stood for the elections going all around for General National Congress of Libya. There are many different problems regarding female freedom and equal rights that need immediate attention in Libya. Changing the laws that subjugate women will help this goal.