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 municipal 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.
Since I was elected, I have been welcomed with open arms by the members of CILG-VNG International. I took advantage of several pieces of training 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 me to see closer how women can participate effectively and equally in local decision-making.
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.”