It is commonly believed that union work in Libya is a recent phenomenon that perhaps became a point of focus in recent decades, albeit in different ways in the periods before and after the 2011 revolution and after. However, the fact of the matter is that union activity in Libya began even before the country had gained its independence. For instance, with the increased numbers of Libyan workers in the sea port in the city of Benghazi during Italian colonialism, the first recognized trade union of port workers was formed in 1951. In an attempt to shift conceptions of union activity in Libya, give an account to its history and various stages, agreement was reached with Washm Center for Women’s Studies to work on a research paper examining the history and challenges of union work in Libya since its inception, in order to substantiate the idea that Libya has a long history of union activity and that it is not a recent innovation. The promotion of union activity is one of the most important of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation since its founding, and strengthening the roles of women in all fields is also an important strategic goal that the Foundation adopts and strives towards. Hence the idea of the study came to be a reference that traces the history of trade union activity in Libya, with a particular focus on the role and status of women in this work by analyzing women’s union participation and highlighting the most important challenges facing them in this regard.

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