Promoting Change through Women’s Legal Network in Libya

March 2017


In Janusry, the Hakki Organization hosted a roundtable supported by ABA ROLI, addressing child protection mechanisms in conflict areas.

A courageous group of women legal professionals is exemplifying this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, “Be Bold for Change.” On Sept. 24, 2016, supported by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), the Hakki “My Right” Organization for Libyan Women Legal Professionals was registered with the Libyan Civil Society Commission and launched in Tripoli. The event was attended by the mayor, representatives from the Ministries of Culture and International Cooperation, the Civil Society Commission and a former minister of culture, as well as lawyers, judges and representatives of other legal and women’s organizations.

“We are motivated by the hope that the Hakki Organization can raise awareness of women and that every woman (can) become a women’s rights defender,” said Khadiga El Boaishi, the head of the Women’s Committee of the Organization.

The Hakki Organization seeks to create forums for enhanced communication and networking among female legal professionals, build capacity of legal professionals to address violence against women and children and promote the role of women in peacebuilding efforts. The organization also works to protect and promote existing rights of Libyan women and advocate for increased equality under the law and proper application of international agreements and conventions.

The main challenge facing the Hakki Organization is the instability and lack of security in Libya, which, along with the liquidity crisis, affects every aspect of their work and activities. However, the organization is planning to conduct a series of public awareness sessions in different cities and carry out an advocacy campaign that focuses on women and the law. The Hakki Organization is focused on preserving the rights that women already have under Libyan law, and achieving new rights under international treaties ratified by Libya.

“We need to break the monopoly of men on the power of decision-making in Libya,” said Jamila Ben Atig, the president of the organization.

In the past year, the Hakki Organization has formed two main committees to complete its work. The first focuses on protecting the rights of children, especially in areas of armed conflict. The second focuses on promoting women’s rights and the role of women in armed conflict per U.N. Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

On Jan. 22, 2017, the organization hosted a roundtable supported by ABA ROLI, addressing child protection mechanisms in conflict areas, an issue with increasing prominence in many Libyan cities. Participants discussed how to protect children from being recruited by militias, the discrepancies between national laws and international treaties regarding rights of children and the role civil society can play in addressing this issue. Recommendations generated at the event were shared with ministry officials in attendance. Participants also included civil society organization representatives, human rights activists, legal professionals, security officials and representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Social Affairs. Afterwards, the Zawiya Municipality Council asked the Hakki Organization to take part in a one week event dedicated to human rights and carry out a similar roundtable in their city.

ABA ROLI’s support of the Hakki Organization is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

To learn more about our work in Libya, please contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org

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