“We didn’t lose our friends for this”: Libyan women’s activist decries female travel ban

Eastern Libya’s military government has banned women under the age of 60 from traveling abroad alone, prompting an outcry from women’s rights activists in the North African country. Military officials in the eastern city of al-Baida imposed the ban on Thursday, starting with the city’s Labraq international airport, the BBC reported.

There has been outrage over the travel ban imposed on the women of Libya by their government, but women in the West are silent.

It is difficult not to get the impression that, to his opponents, foreigners are simply coshes of convenience with which to beat President Trump. They are regarded not as equal, fully rounded citizens of this planet but as victims of convenience whose suffering can be used to generate slogans to shout at political opponents and placards to wave in their faces. If this estimation seems overly harsh, then consider the Newsweek story above.

This is one travel ban that has not gotten activists on the streets from Los Angeles to London to Lisbon, all of whom seem to have now forgotten about Libya.

That’s right. People around the world protested on behalf of Libyans who couldn’t travel to the US following Trump’s travel ban, but completely ignored the issue when Libya’s patriarchal regime banned Libyan women from travelling entirely, anywhere in the world (unless they had the permission of, and were accompanied by, a male chaperone). While the anti-Trump protests were often billed as “women-led”, no one now seems to give a hoot about the women of Libya. So much for sisterly solidarity.

Why? Well, as I noted above, the women of Libya are just pawns to the privileged women of the West. They care about their welfare only in so much as it is a convenient way of bashing President Trump. When they are hit with a travel ban far more wide-reaching and Draconian than the US ban, the women of the world don’t even notice, much less care. As with the hypocrisy over protesting on behalf of countries who themselves have travel bans affecting Jews, so liberal and left-leaning women in the West will continue to protest for the right of Libyan men to travel to the US, even as those same patriarchal men deny that right to the women of Libya.