Women have true talents and are just as capable as men – that was Noura Mohamed Al-Tabalgi’s first breakthrough revelation during the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ (IFES) Women’s Leadership Program in Libya. She first heard about the program through Facebook. Her second breakthrough came when she secured an internship, which later became a full-time paid position, in the office of the Prime Minister of Libya.
The goal of the training program was to increase women’s understanding of the political process and solidify their professional skills so they can contribute to the advancement of democracy in Libya. To this end, the training was followed by a six-to-eight-week internship in a Libyan institution to connect aspiring women leaders with decision makers and apply their new skills in a real-world setting.
Upon completion of the two-week training program, IFES arranged an interview for Al-Tabalgi with the Prime Minister’s office in Tripoli. Soon after, she was informed she had been chosen for an internship and was later asked to stay on as a full-time employee.
“This program helped me in many ways,” Al-Tabalgi said. “It made me realize that women have great capabilities. It helped improve my communication skills, gave me knowledge about different election cycles and political systems, as well as opened my eyes to different constitutions around the world.” And her future goals do not stop there. “I would like to spend time advocating for women's issues in Libya and work on improving their rights in our newfound democracy,” she said.
Al-Tabalgi serves as an example of how providing women knowledge, tools, and opportunity in a supportive environment can create dedicated agents of change in a country undergoing great transformation.