Colonel Muammar Qaddafi addressed the Libyan public in a rambling, defiant speech today. In it he vowed not to step down and said he’d die a martyr. Colonel Qaddafi also blamed the protesters’ actions on hallucinogenic drugs and threatened them with severe punishment.
Despite his son's early morning address threatening civil war, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi appears to be losing his grip on power. Protesters claim they have control of Libya's second city, Benhghazi. And demonstrators clashed with government forces in Tripoli.
To many in the Western world, Arab women are mysterious, repressed and shrouded in long black robes. And many Libyans are aware of that sweeping stereotype. But Libyan women are active in politics, academia and government.
When Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi travels around the world, he usually has a cadre of female bodyguards. But that’s not the only visible presence that women have in Libya. A little known fact is that Qaddafi opened up society to women when he took power 41 years ago.