A Sad Day for Women's Rights

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Florence Ali

Salwa Bugaighis

We at Equality Now are deeply saddened at the passing of Florence Ali, President of the Ghanaian Association for Women’s Welfare (GAWW), and the murder of Salwa Bugaighis, Libyan human rights activist. Both Florence and Salwa dedicated their lives to advancing women’s rights and they have left a void that will be hard to fill.

Florence was our long-term partner in the work to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and a close friend and collaborator. We were so happy to have her at our regional FGM meeting in Nairobi this January. We hope that through GAWW, Florence’s passion and life’s work to end harmful traditional practices will continue.

We are devastated at the senseless murder of Salwa in Benghazi after she cast her vote in Libya’s parliamentary elections. Salwa was key player in Libya's 2011 revolution and a tireless fighter for equal rights for women. We were introduced to her this spring through our partner Karama, which worked closely with Salwa, and were inspired by her commitment and dedication.

This is indeed a sad day for the movement. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Florence and Salwa’s families, friends and colleagues.