Libya historically welcomes its very first female Foreign Minister

Najla Mangoush is set to be Libya's very first minister of foreign affairs in a historic appointment and a step in the right direction for women in Libya

Dr Mangoush holds two Masters’ and a PHD and comes with a long list of national and international credentials. [Photo: Internet]
Earlier this week, Libya’s reunified Parliament approved with an overwhelming majority the Government of National Unity (GNU), led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Debaiba.

In his carefully selected cabinet, four women have been granted ministerial roles in the government – most historically Najla Mangoush as Libya’s very first Minister of Foreign affairs.

Mangoush is a criminal defence lawyer, holds a master’s in criminal law from the University of Benghazi, a master’s in conflict and peace management from Eastern Mennonite University, USA, and a PhD in conflict and peace management from George Mason University, USA.

She has previously worked as a criminal defence attorney, a university professor and during Libya’s 2011 revolution, she was the head of the National Transitional Council’s (NTC) Public Engagement unit.

With a degree in conflict resolution, she was Libya’s representative in the United States Institue of Peace and has also served as the Program Officer for Peace-building and Traditional Law at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution in Arlington, Virginia.

Mangoush comes with a long list of certificates and years of experience, as well as an array of scholarships, including but not exclusive to the coveted US Scholarship for Academic Excellence (SAE).

While the appointment of Dr Mangoush is a historic and progressive one for Libya, it remains that Libya’s new government failed to meet its pledged number of ministerial roles to women.

The Prime Minister and members of the Presidential Council upon their election in Geneva, signed a pledge in which they promised women 30% of ministerial roles, however thus far only four women have been appointed, making up for a poor 14% of Libya’s new cabinet, barely half of what was promised.

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