Wafa Bugaighis Blazes New Trail for Women in Libya

   •    June 21, 2013

Wafa Bugaighis: Libya’s first female deputy foreign minister

In Libya’s national elections last July—the first time citizens voted for a representative government in 60 years—women won 17% of the seats. This unprecedented number was thanks in no small part to activists like Wafa Bugaighis, cofounder and chair of the Committee to Support Women’s Participation in Decision Making, who led campaigns to encourage women’s political participation and educate voters to support female candidates.

Now, Ms. Bugaighis continues to pave the way for women to reach high-level leadership positions with her recent appointment as deputy foreign minister. Ms. Bugaighis is the first woman to ever hold this position in Libya’s history.

“Without…more than 50% of the society participating in decision making, there is not democracy,” she told a packed auditorium at Harvard earlier this year during our annual Colloquium (see video below starting at 13:24). She went on to venture: “I think peace will succeed in Libya, because women are behind it.”

We wish her well in her new endeavor and congratulate all of Libya on this huge advancement!

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