Alaa Murabit is the founder and president of The Voice of Libyan Women(VLW), a nonprofit organization working to promote women’s political participation in Libya through a combination of grassroots organizing and policy advocacy. She founded VLW as a result of the significant role that women played during the 2011 Libyan revolution. The organization aims to ensure that Libyan women’s engagement in political activities continues to expand.

“The most important part of it is [that] they were never told to sit down throughout the revolution, and of course there were political reasons, but never because they were women.”

Alaa Murabit attributes much of VLW’s success to working with the grassroots community and leveraging strategic relationships. VLW’s national Noor Campaign promotes women’s security through an innovative approach, using radio, billboards, and television to spread Islamic religious teachings that combat violence against women.

“I think it really comes down to changing the conversation from being about women’s rights in a very abstract sense to talking about specific issues and making sure that we actually see results.”

Alaa Murabit continues to promote human rights in Libya. She is hopeful that the country will work toward an inclusive future as it emerges from conflict, installs institutions, and creates a robust civil society.

Watch our interview with Alaa Murabit as part of the Profiles in Peace: Oral Histories Project here:

Contributors include Hannah Beswick, Mara D’Amico, Rebecca Turkington, Laura Fairman and Chandini Jha.