By Tansaoui Lekbir
By Tansaoui Lekbir
Ouedzem – No one can deny that women in Morocco have gained far-reaching rights since the application of the most recent Moroccan family code, known in Morocco as the ‘Moudawana’. First, we have seen women debating on their issues on the web, TV channels, radio and the press. They are demonstrating in the street without any censorship of their freedom of speech or opinion or violence against them. Moreover, they are no longer considered just mothers of children in the marital house.
According to the new family code, women play an important role in marital life. The code recognizes a joint responsibility equal to that of their partners to the extent that they assume the same duties in educating children, managing their livelihood and caring for the welfare of their families.
Furthermore, women’s rights have been protected by the law. Gone are the times when the husband repudiated his wife verbally and went to the nearest financial agency to pay her a testament of repudiation, including letters that she was instructed to take by the ‘lariffa,’ an experienced woman appointed to help execute orders, and sometimes without knowing or receiving any fees. Nowadays a thorough law guarantees the rights of both sexes regarding divorce and social disputes.
Even if the Kingdom of Morocco is frequently presented by the U.N. and other international organizations as an example of moderation and progressive attitudes and laws regarding women, many issues should be resolved in favor of women. Many questions are still unresolved, such as the situation of rural women, if they have been included in this reform, as well as their working conditions while tending and herding goats and bringing the necessities of life such as water and wood for themselves and their kids by crossing endless treks on donkeys and by foot.
These questions should be considered as crucial and be reconsidered. Only few women benefit from the new legal changes: those who are highly educated and aware of their status and can therefore move to ask for their rights and improve their situations. The vast majority of women in the countryside, mountains and remote areas are unaware of what is happening in Morocco. Statistics have shown that despite this improvement, several Moroccan laws contain deep inequalities for women and marginalize groups of vulnerable women and girls.
We should move to ameliorate the lives of the marginalized women in our beloved country, and financial help, funding and advocacy efforts must not only concentrate on empowering women leaders to be decision-makers, but also include Morocco’s invisible females : women, girls and children, child domestics, single mothers, and any female group subject to racism, poverty, or sexual abuse as was the case of Wiaam of Sidi Kassem and Fattouma of Taroudant.
Any government reform or empowerment policy should be directed to marginalized groups. When these groups are included in every reform and change, all women will feel the change and all Moroccans will experience gender equality. At that time we can say that women are fully enjoying their rights.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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