By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Sidi Ifni – Equal rights and equality before the law are among the basic principles articulated in various international conventions on human rights. As the duty bearer, the state is responsible for ensuring that all social groups have adequate information and easy access to existing legal frameworks. How do we define it? Some people, for instance, are born with a disability, while others are not. Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, while others are not. People should not enrage if they are rendered unequal by life itself.. As Moroccans, we must admit that not all Moroccans are equal.
Moroccans living in villages and remote towns do not access to basic services such as education nor health, to the same extent as those those living in cities. For decades now, Moroccans have been notorious for their high levels of illiteracy. Whereas some Moroccans who are destined to live in the vicinity of a school have been lucky to acquire some schooling, others who wake up living in remote areas have found difficulty accessing schools. Even if Moroccans have the same right to education, it appears that they are unequal in enjoying this right. Even though their right to schooling is enshrined in the constitution,some Moroccans still live illiterate and die so. Although the country has constitutional clauses setting out the equality of citizens, it has not yielded results. If we take the example of women’s equality status, we’d find that even all of Morocco’s post independence constitutions have stressed the principle of equality between men and women, it was not implemented in reality. Comparative studies on gender and economic growth show that the Arab region can gain significantly in economic growth if it closes the gender equality gap, including Morocco.
I still vividly remember some clever friends during my school days who did not go to school whatsoever for the simple reason that no school was in sight in their area. Frankly, the Moroccan government must be held accountable for being behind this inequality as regards education.
Despite the fact that health must be accessible to all Moroccans without any distinction, it turns out that only a few Moroccans manage to benefit from the services. The Government is obligated to guarantee this right to its population. Maybe a public-private partnership in this area would culminate in better results?
At a time when some Moroccans go nuts with chilly weather in many remote mountains, other Moroccans in Agadir, Fez and Rabat have means at their hand to keep coldness at bay. At a time when the Moroccan government invests on the infrastructure so that some Moroccans may feel comfortable, it turns a blind eye to the well-being of those in the neglected mountains. Don’t these Moroccans have the same government, the same rights?
Why do we, for instance, set up tramways for Moroccans in Rabat and Casablanca and forget to provide safe roads for Moroccans living in Anfgou? Is not Tichka snake-like roads where the worst-ever accident occurred worthy of a tunnel just as Rabat and Casablanca are worthy of tramways? It is a more question of equality than of facilities.
Some Moroccans work endlessly, but the living they earn has never been enough for them to lead a dignified life. Other Moroccans have been caught red handed while being absent from their work, but they own villas and expensive cars and live very comfortably. No doubt, the former deserve a respectable livelihood because they have toiled for it, whereas the latter have resorted to corruption and nepotism to earn what they do not deserve and to live at the detriment of other fellow Moroccans. Why is life easier for some idle Moroccans than for diligent ones? Does not hard work pay off for all Moroccans on an equal footing?
Whereas some Moroccans are sent to prison for petty crimes, some others have never been caught for embezzling public funds? Are not all Moroccans equal before the law? Some Moroccans have been caught red handed and then set free, while other Moroccans have been charged with a crime and spend the rest of their lives in prison. A crime must remain a crime for all Moroccans. A prison must be a punishment for all Moroccans.
Yet, it turns out that not all Moroccans are equal when it comes to the crimes they commit. Still worse is the fact that justice that is supposed be a leveler has separated Moroccans into equal and unequal. So as to better comprehend what is going on in Morocco, it would wiser of us not to generalize. Instead, we must simply point out that all Moroccans are equal, but some Moroccans are more equal. ‘All Moroccans are equal’ is enshrined in the constitution, but ” Some Moroccans are more equal than others” is clearly manifested in Moroccan reality.
Justice institutions play a key role in the distribution of power and rights and in a formal equitable justice system the rights and obligations are universal. By ensuring that institutions enforce economic, political, and social rights for all, countries are able to be much more effective in providing services to all their citizens.