Preparing young Libyan women as future leaders

June 5, 2024

Thirty young Libyan women have graduated from Rai’dat training programme


Tripoli, 5 June 2024 – Thirty young Libyan women have graduated from a year-long training programme, equipping a new generation with skills required of future leaders.

The United Nations in Libya’s Rai’dat (meaning pioneer) programme empowers women to affect positive change – developing their skills in leadership, communication, advocacy, and participation in democratic processes.

The United Nations (UN) Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG), Georgette Gagnon explains that Ra’idat “was launched with a clear vision: to empower youth, specifically young women, to take an active role in shaping their futures, the futures of their communities, and by extension the future of Libya. By equipping young women with the tools to influence decision-making processes, we are investing in leaders to steer policymakers, mitigate drivers of conflict, and drive meaningful change for positive outcomes.”

A joint initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWomen), and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Ra’idat is implemented in coordination with national partners, including the High National Election Commission (HNEC).

According to the HNEC Commissioner, Ms. Rabab Halab, “Inclusivity is fundamental to elections – protecting the human and constitutional rights of all Libyans to determine their leadership; reflecting a fair and credible process; and building a tradition of good governance.”

Reflecting on the importance of this initiative, Dr. Christopher Laker, UNDP Resident Representative a.i., added, “The Ra’idat initiative is a testament to our commitment to fostering inclusive leadership in Libya. By nurturing the talents and ambitions of these young women, we are laying the groundwork for a more equitable and prosperous future. Their success is not just a personal achievement but a victory for their communities and the country as a whole.”

To date, Libyan women have been under-represented in national decision making, electoral processes and governance – occupying less than 15 per cent of Ministerial seats; 16.5 per cent of the seats in the Libyan House of Representatives; and 15 per cent of the seats in the High Council of State. Libyan women are also less likely to run as candidates, less likely to register as voters than men, and less likely to cast ballots in elections.