Aisha Altubuly

Right to peace.
Together We Build It

Libyan young student of political sciences (specialization in international relations) at the American University of Cairo. Committed to the Libyan civil society for 5 years and especially at work for an egalitarian community. She has also been involved in the inclusion of the young population in the processes of peace and decision-making. Defender of the rights of women throughout Libya within the organization Together We Build, an association that works for the democratic transition in Libya since 2011, highlighting how the political participation of women and young people contribute to the construction of peace.

Interview with Aisha Altubuly

What made you commit to TWBI at such a young age?

I wanted to see my country progress and move towards respect for human rights. I was very ambitious in seeking opportunities to develop my skills and the leadership needed to launch initiatives that could help other young people build a strong and stable country through peaceful means. TWBI has always believed in the skills of young people and their ability to promote human rights. Therefore, I decided to join and help with what I could while learning and gaining experience. I never thought of my age as a barrier; on the contrary, it was a source of energy.

Since 2014 you have been involved in the “1325 Network” project in Libya.

My work in this project arises from the conviction that it is important to include Libyan women in the political process to achieve peace. This belief derives from the experience of working with TWBI and observing the role of Libyan women in our society and in the revolution. I have also been influenced by cases like the one in Rwanda, for example. My work has focused on using social networks as a tool to publicize cases and experiences from other countries, as well as the stories of great Libyan women who have contributed to improving the living conditions of Libyan women and girls, in terms of empowerment and education.

TWBI has conducted an online consultation targeting Libyan women, who have shared their security experiences. What have been the most remarkable results?

The consultation as a whole is remarkable, for the variety of real stories that have been put on the table. It has been amazing to see how women want to make their voices heard when they are given the chance to be heard. We received around a thousand responses in less than three days. These are valuable contributions because they show that conflicts affect women in a specific way. They also reflect her bravery in managing security risks and provide her perspective on the role of women in today’s circumstances. This allows us to improve our approach to empowering them.

According to Amnesty International, human rights defenders in Libya suffer harassment, kidnapping, torture and other types of violence. What is your situation and that of your TWBI colleagues?

Unfortunately, it is true that activists in Libya face many problems, to the extent that it can cost them their lives. Personally, I have not had any serious problems or experienced any physical violence. Within our team, we try to put our safety first, and try to keep our identities as low profile as possible. However, we suffer a lot of online violence and harassment because of our work on social media.

After six years of conflict, what are your views on the future of Libya?

There is no doubt that the phase that Libya is going through is difficult and hard for all of us. However, we must not lose hope for a peaceful future, where human rights are respected and the current conflict ends. As activists, we must contribute.

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