UN Women Executive Director condemns assassination of women's rights activist in Libya


Statement by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women

UN Women strongly condemns the assassination of the Libyan leader and women’s rights advocate Salwa Bugaighis. Today we join millions in mourning the loss of a sister and courageous human rights defender. I am personally outraged and deeply saddened by this brutal murder.

Salwa was killed soon after casting her vote in the Libyan election, a right she fought for as a member of the National Transitional Council during the 2011 revolution.

Salwa worked with Karama, a grantee of the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality, training activists and leaders and promoting women’s political participation in Libya.

She played a key part in the development of the new Libyan Constitution. Many UN Women colleagues knew her in these roles, and as an active participant in the Commission on the Status of Women. We will miss her and express our deep condolences to her family and friends.

Salwa Bugaighis was a brave leader who advocated for the human rights of her people. With her passing, we are once again reminded of the threats to the hard-won gains for women and girls around the world. In many countries, women who participate in politics or activism face intimidation and violence.

UN Women calls for urgent action to bring the criminals who perpetrated this cowardly act to justice.

The murder of Salwa Bugaighis breaks our hearts, but it will not break our determination to advance peace and women’s full and equal participation in all spheres of life, in every country in the world.