Libya is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometers (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 16th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over one million of Libya's six million people. The other large city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya. .

Political Profile/Structure/System

The Politics of Libya is in an uncertain state due to the collapse of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in 2011 and an ongoing civil war..

Elections and Political Parties

During his 42-year rule, Muammar Gaddafi banned direct elections. After Gaddafi's fall, a total of 130 political parties (or "political entities", for lack of legislation that defines parties) were formed, offering people a wide range of ideologies and political views. Many of the parties are very local in nature, representing only a certain town or even just a neighbourhood. Only 10 of them have candidates across Libya's 13 constituencies, and could therefore be seen as national political movements.

By The Numbers

Education Under King Idris, educating women was considered suspicious. During the last decade of his rule, females enrolled in primary education was only between 11-19%. Under Article 14 of the Libyan Constitutional Declaration in 1969, education was made a right, and by 1990 the figure stood at 48%. Enrollment in higher education stood at 8% in 1966, but reached 43% by 1996, equal to males. Reference: New York Times. May 19, 2011. Accessed June 9, 2011 "Women indebted to Gaddafi for power", The Star. June 9, 2011 By 2001, 16% had a university degree or higher, and 48% a secondary school certificate, in which there is no prohibition on choice educational studies. Elections Lower house Seats: 188; women: 30; % women: 16.0%


Participation and Inclusion

As Libya transitions to democracy, major decisions are being made that will impact the nation’s future. It is crucial that women’s voices are heard as Libya codifies human rights in national legislation and establishes government institutions. While women in Libya are eager to participate in their country’s government, their political participation has declined since the revolution.