The draft constitution aside, Libyans aren’t enjoying equal rights

Two years after the formal liberation of Libya on Oct. 23, 2011, a country very different from that envisioned in the Draft Constitutional Charter – a document that declared all Libyans to be equal before the law to enjoy equal civil and political rights – is emerging. Early National Transitional Council decisions proved a harbinger of things to come. Despite women playing an active role in the revolution, women’s rights advocates were dismayed when the rebels appointed only one woman, Salwa Fawzi al-Deghali, to the NTC when it was formed in March 2011. She was joined in May by Hania al-Gumati; however, these two women remained the only females on the 40-person NTC until the revolution ended. Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, the NTC chairman, raised fresh concerns about the rights and roles of women in post-Gadhafi Libya when he suggested in October 2011 that a Gadhafi-era law restricting polygamy was contrary to Shariah law and should be abolished.

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