Hamida Mohammed bin
Pioneer for Libyan Women
Hamida bin Amer is the first female Libyan radio announcer. In 1954, when the idea of establishing a radio station surfaced, there was a search for a Libyan woman to present a program called "Women's Corner." Hamida al-Anaizi, a pioneer woman activist, suggested the position to Ms. bin Amer, who was married at the time. After some hesitation, special arrangements were made to have the program recorded at home, then broadcast from the radio station. Her work pioneered the way for the Libyan women's radio icon Khadija al-Jahmi. Until the early 1960s, Hamida bin Amer confidently spoke to the housewife, the daughter, the student, and was widely admired. Her work in educational radio is only one of the many examples of the leading contributions that she and her contemporaries have made to Libyan society in general and Libyan women in particular.
Hamida was fortunate to grow
up in a household that valued religious education as
well as education in other disciplines. Her grandfather,
Shiekh Mohammed bin Amer, was the Mufti and chief judge of Benghazi during
the Ottoman era. Her
father, Sheikh Mohammed M. bin Amer
a long time
as an attorney in religious law (Islamic
Shari'a), and wrote a book entitled, "Mulakhas al-Ahkam al-Shar'ia
ala al-Mu'tamad min Madh-hab al-Malikiya," which translates to "Summary
of Legal Statutes based Upon Endorsed Principles of the Maliki School
She was one of the founding members of the first women's association after independence. From 1954 till the end of the 1970s, she was an enthusiastic, leading contributor to society. Fellow members in the association included Hamida al-Anaizi, Khairya Mizkhan, Salma Younis al-Jouhary, Hayat al-Jarrah, Zakia al-Mangoush and Wedad Ashraf. The women's association was funded by donations, and its activities included helping needy girls in schools, visiting families and encouraging them to send daughters to school, helping orphans, and visiting patients in hospitals.
Appointed as a teacher in 1962, she worked in the education sector until she retired in 1985, but never completely left social and charitable activities.
Hamida bin Amer has been an important influence in making a positive difference, a role model for many younger women, always stressing the importance of social values and driven by her dedication to women's causes. She has lived a very productive life, taking the opportunities to enrich the lives of many others. She is an optimistic person, and her motto is "Wish for others what you love for yourself."
*Reference material was provided by Hamida's daughter, Ibtissam bin Amer.