Episode
March 22, 2017

Libyan activist Zahra' Langhi on 'feminine discourse' in political reconciliation

Is gender equality the key to Libya’s future?
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Libyan activist Zahra’ Langhi says she believes her country can achieve political reconciliation using an approach she’s labeled the “feminine discourse”, the pillars of which are compassion, mercy and inclusion.

She often asks which is required more when rebuilding a country from civil war - rage or compassion? 

"We’ve been appeasing warlords - it’s only created a weak centralised government that is not addressing any other issues,” Langhi told The Stream ahead of her appearance on the programme Wednesday, March 22. 

Langhi believes Libyans need to take a more holistic and comprehensive approach, one that addresses human rights violations and seeks gender equality.

Women were at the forefront of the ‘Day of Rage’ movement that lead to Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi’s removal from power in 2011. Those women were lead in part by Langhi, who helped organise protests and co-founded the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace. 

After Gaddafi’s ouster, as a new government began to form, Langhi and her team began lobbying for a more gender-inclusive electoral law. The end result? Women won 17 percent of the seats in congress in the first election in 52 years. But they soon discovered that exclusion was the least of their problems. There was also systematic violence against women. Langhi says female parliamentarians were threatened by their colleagues, who also happened to head armed militias. 

Langhi joins The Stream to discuss the "feminine discourse" and what Libya’s future could look like with that in mind.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with: 

Zahra’ Langhi @zlanghi
Libyan activist
donordirectaction.org/activists/lwpp

Ayat Mneina @Amneina
Founder, ShababLibya

Iman Bugaighis @ImanSaad2
Activist and academic

Khadeja Ramali @k_ramali
Co-founder and Director, Project Silphium
ps.org.ly

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