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There is a growing trend to implement development projects oriented towards women economic empowerment (WEE) in #Libya. This is great because it paves the way for changing the cultural paradigm of Libyan society and promotes inclusion of #women in other areas. 1/10
But there are also opportunities/risks that should be observed/mitigated when implementing such projects, given the #Libya-n environment. I’ll try and compile a few here that I hope will be observed by both donors and implementing orgs. 2/10
First, you need to make sure the idea for the project originates from the woman and that she takes full ownership of it. Just suggesting things for her to do is NOT economic empowerment and will have 0 impact, it is advising and will eventually result in failure. 3/10
Once established, make sure the financial interests of the projects actually go to the WOMAN. No point if she’ll work & #Libya-n man collects. It might good look on pictures but it won’t cause the social impact aimed for. 4/10
You unfortunately need men's buy-in in the community (ideally support too), for women to carry out projects. Often, WEE projects' implementation challenges male-dominated social structures (that’s great) but leaves women vulnerable to gender-based violence as result. 5/10
A great way to bridge tribal gaps in #Libya is getting women from different tribes to cooperate inter-tribal WEE projects. It’s often not capitalized on because orgs are happy they were able to gather a few women in a room & forget the higher purpose the project could have. 6/10
When donors pre-determine target groups/outputs for WEE projects, it restricts implementing conflict sensitive measures, but also the opportunity to work with other stakeholders. Think how easier it would be if certain influential leaders in the community supported WEE. 7/10
Based on above, orgs operating need to show a certain understanding of the contextual factors in each location WEE projects will be implemented & an EXISTING network. Donors should actually make it compulsory for orgs to show deeper understanding of Libyan dynamics. 8/10
Important: FLEXIBILITY intra-project and CONSULTING women, aka an ability to amend project design based on feedback women give. Especially true in volatile #Libya where development often led to noticeable increased tensions within communities (yet no changes "the plan") 9/10
Lastly (and this one is my own opinion), implementers should look into documenting wider contextual benefits WEE projects had (e.g case studies) instead of focusing exclusively on outputs. Would go a long way highlighting WEE's importance to donors AND local communities. 10/10

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