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UN urges Libya to include women in drafting constitution

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) [official website] called [press release] Wednesday for the participation of Libyan women in the Constitution Drafting Assembly. The UNSMIL noted that the preparation and drafting of the constitution is a significant part of Libya's democratic transition, and the representation and participation of women throughout the process will greatly contribute to the growth of the country. Libyan women had a significant role in the February 2011 revolution and participated in Libya's first free elections in over four decades. As elections for the Constitution Drafting Assembly approach, the UN is stressing how important the participation of women is in rebuilding the nation. For the elections last year, special measures were adopted to allow 32 women to win seats in the parliament. These special measures, such as quotas, have greatly contributed to women's representation in public life and are on par with international standards and obligations.

Ongoing efforts in Libya continue trying to ensure a properly-functioning justice system and promote reconciliation after the 2011 conflict. In March Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged [JURIST report] the Libya government to ensure the protection of civilians. The trial [JURIST report] of 40 former Libyan officials began earlier in March, in al-Zawiya. The charges included inciting the killing of protesters during the revolution, wasting public funds, embezzlement and abuse of power. In February the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] called on Libya [JURIST report] to extradite former Gaddafi intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi.

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