Libya dating system
Libya has no constitution as such; instead, it has a series of declarations that form the basis of Libyan legislation.
The most important are the New Constitutional Declaration (1969), which asserts the equality of all citizens before the law, and the Declaration of the Establishment of the Authority of the People (1977).
Since coming to power, Qadhafi has repeatedly claimed to have improved the status of women by introducing legislation aimed at eliminating discrimination, by attempting to improve women's access to education and employment, and by encouraging women to participate in Libya's political, social, and economic life.
However, in reality, women have not made many inroads into what is still essentially a male-dominated society, and they continue to suffer gender-based discrimination.
The most important legislation to date that relates to women's status is the Charter on the Rights and Duties of Women in Libyan Arab Society.
Drafted in 1997 by the regime, the charter asserts that women should participate in the General People's Congresses and Committees (equivalent of the parliament and associated bodies), defend their country, enjoy independent financial status, and assume leadership positions.
Around 97 percent of the population is Arab or Berber (although the regime denies the existence of its Berber minority), and the vast majority of the population follows the Maliki school of Sunni Islam.
Libya was largely isolated for much of the 1990s but is currently in the process of restoring its relations with the international community.
Discrimination between man and woman is a flagrant act of oppression without any justification." However, the text also stresses the biological differences between men and women, concluding, "man and woman cannot be equal." There are laws and policies that include clauses aimed at protecting women from discrimination in various aspects of life.
Women have the right to full and equal status as citizens and enjoy the same rights as men regarding the right to acquire, change or retain their nationality, or replace it with another nationality.
A woman forfeits her nationality only if she wishes to adopt her husband's nationality.
However, in reality, Qadhafi is in complete control and runs an authoritarian centralized state that relies heavily on the security apparatus to maintain control.
Libya's population is currently estimated to be around 5.5 million, with a GDP in 2002 of .1 billion.