Thursday, 10 November 2011

Col Muammer Gaddafi and Women

Muammar Gaddafi : June 2009: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi waves to photographers

Emotions have played a strong role in lives of people who are known for their ruthless regime and one of them is Maummar Gadaffi ,whose reputation was maligned towards the end of his regime ,but we can not ignore the fact that Libyan Colonel Muammer Gaddafi took good care of women , not only he supported them but also believed in their abilities and emancipation and that too in a society where women are not fully appreciated.Several steps were taken to improve the situation of women during his regime ,which was  a result of his promise to his mother ,who couldnot read or write and was born when Libiya was an Italian colony .The Jamahiriya govt made an effort to advance female emancipation.Women were encouraged to participate in Libyas political life and several posts were allocated to them.Working women enjoyed a range of benefits designed to continue workin even after marriage and child birth During the last decade of King Idris’ rule, females enrolled in primary education were only between 11-19%. However, in 1969, education was made a right. And by 1990, the figure stood at 48%. Women’s enrollment in higher education stood at 8% in 1966, but reached 43% by 1996, equal to that of males.Apart from education and employment , several other reforms were made to improve their lives.Under Jamahiriya government child marriages were banned and the minimum legal age to marry placed at 18. Since 1973, Libyan women have had equal rights in obtaining a divorce. There were also gender-friendly women’s laws passed on marriage and divorce.Gaddafi forbade restricting women’s mobility.Unlike several other  Arab countries,a woman was allowed to drive and hold her passport which enabled her to travel outside of the country without her husbands permission .Nor could women be forced in a marriage and enjoyed  the freedom totleave the marriage at her will.Imams were expected to protect women from abuse.A women brigade we witnessed,who were willing to die for him was a result of his delibrate effort towards upliftment of women and certainly not his power.

photograph courtesy the

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