Casablanca- The Moroccan family code, or Mudawana, is a legal text aimed at improving relations between men and women and correcting injustices committed against half of the population.
It is now in its tenth year, which presents an opportunity to commemorate and celebrate it. This code is also aimed at developing the principles of justice and equity within the family, which up to now have been governed by ancient customs and traditions, and even more than by religious precepts.
The family code is the result of hard work on political, intellectual, social and ideological policy. Indeed, An advanced legal text was born, giving women part of their lost rights and restoring balance between the spouses.
How did we get this result?
First, there have been intellectual, religious and political debates initiated by the courageous Said Saadi, a leftist minister in the el Youssoufi government who had promised a project that would improve the status of women. But Saadi had to work against conservatives, represented within the government by Abdelkébir Alaoui Mdaghri, Minister of Islamic Affairs, who received the support of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), and the Unity and Reform Movement (MUR, ), which opposed the project.
Then, after much debate, a committee set up by the King – may God grant him long life – and led by Mhamed Boucetta managed to spearhead dialogue between the different camps, achieve what was possible and push away the impossible. Therefore, Islamist “jurisprudence” was adopted, with a foundation of modernity and the anointing of the King as “Commander of the Faithful”.
The lesson of this “exercise” is that the country is in need of great reform projects in law, economics, justice, education and of civil behavior. These great projects first require public debate, followed by, a diversity of opinions which should result in consensus and/or solutions, and finally agreement away from narrow politicization. Our society is still fragile and does not know how to manage the legislation in line with logic of the majority and the minority in such major reforms.
Ten years are sufficient to analyze and examine the weaknesses of this Mudawana and work on its dysfunctions. Here is the opinion of a commentator who does not pretend to be an expert:
1. It is necessary to revise the terms of marriage involving minors. Today, marrying a girl who is under 18 is more likely to fail than to succeed. Girls under 18 belong in school. It took ten years for judges to begin marrying exceptionally young girls, paving the way for people who recommend marriage for children as young as 9..
2. It is important to also reconsider the wide discretionary powers conferred on family court judges, most of whom are conservatives, if not completely backward. They consider the new code to be far from the traditional theological principles in which they were trained. This is why most of the Mudawana provisions were ignored by those responsible for enforcing the law.
3. It is important to limit polygamy as much as possible and make monogamy the general rule. We must take action against those who falsify certificates of celibacy to marry someone else without the consent of their legal wife; traditional marriages with only a reading of the Fatiha must be banned, as when a birth results, it compels the judge to pronounce the marriage legal, without the consent of the first wife.
4. Marriage between a rape victim and her rapist must be officially prohibited because a marriage should not be based on rape and violence.
5. It is useful to focus on alimony and child support issues, in order to preserve the rights of ex-wives and children. Courtrooms are rife with divorce dramas. The Mudawana facilitated divorce proceedings, but did account for post-divorce considerations.
Translated by Nahla Landolsi. Edited by Jessica Rohan
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed