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A novel virus with familiar results: The impact of covid-19 on women in Libya 

The covid-19 pandemic hit Libya hard, like many other countries around the world. But just how strongly did it affect Libyan women in particular?

DRI and Jusoor Center for Studies and Development conducted in-depth interviews with women civil society organisations (CSOs) and women leaders to gather their input on the impact of covid-19 on women’s lives in Libya.

The findings from our research are as follows:

  • The lack of representation of women in the covid-19 responses and within the committees in Libya led to women feeling left out of the decision-making process and a lack of gender-sensitive measures.
  • Women’s roles in the pandemic response are still based on the stereotypical socio-cultural roles as they were appointed for fieldwork, voluntary work and sub-committee work. 
  • Because women’s economic participation in Libya is mainly in the informal sector, women-owned businesses were hit the hardest by the lack of liquidity, price increases, lockdowns, as well as the closure of schools and nurseries, which puts more burden on these women at home. 
  • Women-owned informal businesses did not benefit from the government’s measures to alleviate the economic impact of covid-19.   
  • Some women CSOs reported a significant cut in their funding, which forced them to reduce their activities. This will be a challenge for their work within the community as smaller organisations heavily depend on funding. Moving activities to the online space also meant more operational challenges because of frequent power cuts and internet problems.   

You can read the full report in Arabic or an English summary below. 

The report on the impact of covid-19 on marginalised women in Libya was published by DRI within the framework of the Fa’ela: Tapping into Women’s Full Potential in Shaping Libya’s State Building Efforts project, which started on June 2020 and will end in December 2022.

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

Documents

The impact of covid-19 on women in Libya - English summary Download
The impact of covid-19 on women in Libya - Arabic Version Download

This work is supported by