a 49-year old mother of three children, is a civil society activist in Zouara and a former elected official of her municipality. A natural therapist for 20 years, Zitouna has also worked as a lawyer for several years. In 2014, a female friend of hers gave her the idea to run for the first municipality elections in her city. “At that time, I was not very motivated to take a seat in the municipal council even though at the same time I was very concerned and passionate about local governance. But thanks to the support of the people surrounding me, I ran then won and I am proud of that…” recalls Zitouna, who was elected as a member of the municipal council in 2014.
“Since I was elected, I have been welcomed with open arms by the members of CILG-VNG International. I took advantage of several trainings and workshops which helped me build my capacities and master the concept of local governance. With CILG-VNG International, I discovered the experiences of other countries, which enabled to see closer how women can participate effectively and equally in local decision-making,” says Zitouna who despite her resignation from the municipal council continues to follow closely the implementation of the municipal projects. She adds, “Here, in Libya, women are sometimes their own enemy. They do not run in the elections and are happy with the only seat reserved for women. But mentalities must change. I am very lucky to have a family and colleagues who support me in fulfilling my commitments to the Zouara municipality and I would like to thank CILG-VNG International for their precious help on this specific level.”