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Libya and Tunisia: Female leaders and Female Role Models to increase stability and security

Workshop report of this event . Organised by the NSD-S Hub and with the Union of the Mediterranean Universities- UNIMED.

Africa - Security & Conflict, Women Peace & Security - Format: PDF - Size: 629.15 KB - Date: Dec, 2023 - Pages: - Copyright: NATO Strategic Direction South HUB - Tags: North-Africa

Women constitute an important factor in establishing stability and security. On many occasions, decision-makers fail to hear women’s voices and understand their perspectives on political and security matters, which eventually influence the establishment of sustainable peace and security.  In its efforts to provide concrete and applicable insights for NATO leadership on how to engage women in peacebuilding processes, the NATO Strategic Direction-South Hub in partnership with UNIMED organised a meeting to hear from women on their views on how to better engage and advance women’s role in advancing security and peace in Libya and Tunisia.


This report is the result of a workshop that was co-organized with the Union of the Mediterranean Universities (UNIMED), and took place in Naples in July 2023 titled “Libya and Tunisia: Female Leaders and Female Role Models, to increase stability and security”. The workshop hosted a diverse group of women leaders from the region, who shared their insights and experience from different backgrounds such as government, academia and civil society and highlighted the positive role that women play in the region to promote and advance peace and security. 

Research questions

  1. What roles can women have to mitigate and prevent conflict?

  2. Which is the role of universities and education? 

  3. How can we provide, for future action, ways to support the strengthening of women’s roles in mediation processes?

Key insights

  • Notwithstanding the various contextual differences between the two countries, the workshop allowed the women to share successful experiences and bring out concrete examples and recommendations that will help the international community in its engagement with countries where women’s involvement has been marginalized.
  • Women in leadership positions make important contributions to development and sustainable peace, and although they remain significantly underrepresented in all aspects of decision-making, in Libya and Tunisia we can find good example in women’s representation at different levels. Both countries are facing a very challenging moment and some women have found space for their voice. They can be an inspiration for the new generations.

Key recommendations

  • There is still work to be done to change mindsets; previous generations who advocated for women’s rights and gender equality need to remain active, and they need to engage with youth – young women and men – to encourage them to take on the advocacy role 
  • Strategic goals for social change and democratic transition need to be set and allocated with sufficient resources
  • Gender equality needs to be institutionalized, particularly within frameworks for political participation; this needs to be supported by indicators and accountability mechanisms for follow-through
  • Encourage – and puts pressure on – Libyan actors to include women in all aspects of the peace process, including negotiations, decision-making, and implementation. This can be accomplished through engagement with key stakeholders during visits and meetings with Libyan delegations.
  • Gender mainstreaming of documents, such as mutual, bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoU) that would be signed by Libyan actors.
  •  and international actors, to ensure gender perspectives.
  • Support efforts to reform the security sector in Libya, including training for security forces and assistance in building effective and accountable institutions, with a focus on gender equality and ensuring the participation of women in the military in those trainings.
  • Engage in dialogue with Libyan civil society organizations and women's groups to understand security challenges and promote women's inclusion in peace and security processes.
  • Provide flexible, core funding for programs and initiatives that promote women’s rights, education, training, and to participate in international events and provide support civil society organizations building up capacities.
  • Create alternative funding mechanisms, such as rapid response funds, that are accessible, flexible, and allow rapid, short-term support for urgent initiatives.
  • Monitor and report on the situation of women’s rights, advocating for greater protection and awareness about challenges in conflict-affected in Libya. 
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