Day 19
One hour of computer or English courses for a woman in Libya

Learning for a better life

Empowerment of women and girls in the civil war-torn country of Libya

Sometimes it takes time for dreams to come true. Such as the dream of Nadine from Tripoli: As a child, she used to love going to school, maths was her favourite subject. She dreamed of becoming a lawyer and fighting for disadvantaged people. But things turned out differently. She was married off at age 13, had her first baby and had to leave school. But she brought up her daughters to become successful and confident women. Nadine’s time came when the revolution in 2011 brought change to Libya. She started centres in the capital where disadvantaged women threatened by violence could find shelter, advice and support. It is the opportunities for further education that are dearest to Nadine: Free classes in English and computer literacy. “Education is the key to a self-determined life,” she is certain. Today she is 65. She never became a lawyer, but she did fulfill her childhood dream of helping the weak and disenfranchised – through her tenacity and courage.

Necessity

 

Educational opportunities for socially disadvantaged women and girls in Libya.

Activity

 

In their counselling centres, the partners of AMICA e.V. offer free English and computer courses for women and girls.

Countable effort

After around 12 months

Number of women and girls that will have finished and been awarded a certificate for a three-month English or computer class.

Result

After around 3 years

Disadvantaged women and girls in Libya have gained more self-esteem, are more stable in their daily lives and their professional situation.

Systemic effect

After around 7 years

Women will have a stronger position in Libyan society. There is greater awareness of gender-specific violence.

Background

Since the 2011 revolution, Libya has been in a process of transformation, which in May 2014 culminated in civil war when violence erupted once more. Currently, about 1 million people are affected by hostilities and 1,3 million people depend on humanitarian aid (Ocha, 2016). The war brought about a massive increase in everyday violence. According to the UNDP, 89 per cent of families in Libya are affected. The situation is particularly severe for those having to leave their homes. The majority of refugees concentrate in the cities of Benghazi and Tripoli, where families live crammed together in shelters set up in schools and factory buildings. There is no place to retreat to or safeguards. In Libya, violence towards women and girls is an absolute taboo. The state has almost no assisting facilities. Therefore, both of AMICA e.V.’s partner organisations are pioneering in what they do. They have instituted the first emergency help line for women, are visiting displaced families and women in prison, have hired therapists, social workers and lawyers, and are running a campaign to get young men to stop taking up arms and joining the militias.

The good deed

By taking part in English and computer classes, women and girls learn about the counseling centres. This level of trust is important for them to feel good about taking advantage of the support from social workers, therapists and lawyers when they need them. The services give stability to their everyday life and strengthen their self-esteem. “I feel like I can fly. Now there is hope for me again,” is how one visitor from Benghazi describes her feelings. The classes are certified by the Libyan ministry of education. By taking part, these women are empowered in their career choices and increase their chances of being hired by a local company, a state institution or a non-governmental organisation.

About Libya

Tripoli

Capital

6 293 300

Number of inhabitants

5 193

Gross domestic product per capita per year

102

Human Development Index

Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa. The Libyan desert has the highest temperatures in the world.

About the organization and further information

Association

AMICA e.V.

Certified by

Transparency International

Further information and source