Libyan PM Under Fire for Statements Objectifying Women

Published January 3rd, 2022 - 08:39 GMT
Abdulhamid Mohammed Al-Dabaiba 
Libyan PM Abdulhamid Mohammed Al-Dabaiba. (Albawaba)

While he attempts to run for president of Libya in the next few months, the Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Mohammed Al-Dabaiba has stirred outrage after making public remarks that have been perceived as "offensive to women."

During a social event that celebrated government-promoted marriage allowances, where financial packages are granted to struggling engaged couples to help them start their marital lives, Prime Minister Al-Dabaiba said "we want to help boost the women's market," suggesting that such grants are "supposed to help women get married."

As soon as the speech was shared, online Libyan commentators took to social media to protest his words, saying it qualifies as "verbal abuse," as it singles out women as the target of the government campaigns.

Translation: "Al-Dabaiba is abusing women verbally, he talks about a social phenomenon with a degrading tone thinking only of animalistic instincts. He's been busy allocating billions for marriage but not [developing] educational curriculum. There are Libyan women who are more well-spoken and qualified to lead Libya than him."

Online users also highlighted common misogynistic remarks that shame women for not getting married, but not men. Moreover, many of them protested the underlying meaning behind his use of words, suggesting that women are "sold in markets" and "should be marketed."

Using the hashtag #الليبيات_مواطنات_لسن_سلعة (Libyan women are citizens not goods), internet people led comments targeting the Libyan Prime Minister and demanding his apology.

Written by Riham Darwish

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