July 5, 2013 - ZAWIA, LIBYA (The Voice of Libyan Women) – Following extensive research done on women’s perceptions of security concerns and the impact of security on women’s participation in public life, The Voice of Libyan Women is proud to announce the launch of Noor: Shedding Light on Women’s Security Concerns in Libya, noor.vlwlibya.org .

Noor, in its literal translation from Arabic means “light“, and the symbolism of the word in Islam has long meant the enlightment of an individual from darkness and ignorance, to a position of understanding and of wisdom.

It has been over two years that VLW has focused strongly on women’s security, previously completing a national security assessment,that was the first and only of its kind in Libya, conducting interviews with key stakeholders, and organizing our One Voice 2013: New Horizonsconference which brought together over 30 Members of Parliament, International Ambassadors, Head of National Congress and over 150 local activists to address women’s role in the increasingly complex security situation in Libya. In addition to this we have conducted seminars and surveys in over 25 Libyan cities concentrating on domestic violence during our annualInternational Purple Hijab Day. The results from the thousands of surveys completed by young Libyan girls resulted in Interim Libyan Prime Minister Dr. El Keib himself wearing a purple scarf and strongly condemning domestic violence and publicly stating his support for legislative change.

Through our assessment and research on women’s security concerns in Libya it became apparent that the most common justification for discrimination against women was the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Islamic teachings, and their influence on Libyan cultural norms.

Noor aims to shed light on the proper treatment ofwomen in Islam through Ayas from the Holy Quran and Hadiths (narrations of the Prophet Mohammed Peace Be Upon Him).

Noor focuses on women’s security- be it domestic violence, harassment or public slander – which make women feel vulnerable in public or leading roles, we felt it was of the greatest importance that all hadiths and citations used were authorized, allowing for Noor to have greater legitimacy in the eyes of the Libyan public, and allowing for the message to be heard – and valued – on a much wider scale.
Dar Al Ifta, which has continually been a great aide, particularly in the authentication and citation of all religious content used, expressed their support for the Noor Campaign, “we commend your efforts ….we wish you all success”, they stated. (Link to PDF letter fromDar Al Ifta in Arabic).

Noor currently includes thirty three billboards throughout over twenty Libyan cities in addition to television and radio commercials that will be playing on both local and national stations.

Please join us as VLW will also be utilizing social media with #NoorLibya once the campaign officially launches this Friday, 5th of July.

We deliberately chose the holy day of Friday, only days leading to the holy month of Ramadan, to launch the campaign, as it is a time which we believe the message is strengthened.  In the Autumn VLW will begin seminars aimed at addressing women’s security issues throughout Libyan workplaces, schools, universities and Masjids targeting audiences of both men and women, young and old.

It has been a great pleasure for us to see this project come to light – the very foundation for The Voice of Libyan Women has been a platform for sustainable, authentic and indigenous Libyan progress.We take great pride in addressing women’s security in a way which will be heard and respected. It is time that the power of religion is used as it was meant to be, as a tool of education and illumination rather than as an excuse for ignorance and prevalent cultural norms and that we ensure that women are treated as partners in the rebuilding of the new Libya.

We would like to thank all of those who have made The Noor Campaign possible:
Dar Al-Ifta Libya
The Libyan Ministry of Culture and Civil Society
The HB Group
Canadian Embassy in Libya
The many individuals who personally supported this campaign with their time and donations.


About The Voice of Libyan Women

The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW) was initially founded in August 2011 as a result of the February 17 Revolution which renewed not only our hope for equality in Libya, but also renewed the hope of the Libyan society as a whole in their basic human rights, including women’s rights. This hope quickly translated into action, which VLW believes is the best method for any concrete improvement with regards to women’s rights.

Although VLW has grown considerably since its founding, we remain a youth-led organization and have a strong base in our hometown of Zawia. As a group of young Libyan women from different backgrounds, our ultimate goal is to advocate for an increased investment into Libya’s greatest (and most overlooked) resource: women.

You can find us on social media at www.facebook.com/Thevoiceoflibyanwomen or follow us on twitter @Voicelibyawomen.

Please feel free to look through our media library at www.youtube.com/VoiceOfLibyanWomen

For more information about get involved with VLW an overview of our past work: http://www.vlwlibya.org/resources/VLW-2011-July-2012.pdf

To learn more information about Noor or to support the campaign, please contact:

Nadia ElFallah - Nadia.elfallah@vlwlibya.org