Rabat - “Minorities, Women, and the State in North Africa” is the title of a new book edited by the Moroccan University professor and research Moha Ennaji. The book has recently been published by Red Sea Press in the US.
Rabat – “Minorities, Women, and the State in North Africa” is the title of a new book edited by the Moroccan University professor and research Moha Ennaji. The book has recently been published by Red Sea Press in the US.
This book, which is a collection of chapters from prominent international scholars, aims to unravel the problems and injustices suffered by minorities and women in North Africa. It focuses on the strategies adopted in each country to integrate their populations and to respect cultural diversity. The book equally discusses the role played by the state and civil society organizations on the ground to combat discrimination and totalitarianism. It examines in depth the interconnection of gender, nation, state, citizenship, and language.
Following the 2011 revolutions, minorities and women across North Africa have faced increasing risks to their lives. The remarkable changes taking place across the region as the result of the Arab Spring continues to significantly affect the social order. While increasing hopes for democratization, the impact of the Arab spring has produced, perhaps, the most dangerous period since the end of the Cold War. Its specific impact on both minorities and women is astounding.
The book emphasizes the close links between democratization, human rights, cultural diversity and rights of minorities and women in North African states. Minorities and women’s rights are addressed in connection with their impact on democracy as political and cultural practice. The book offers a pioneering theoretical and empirical approach to the study of minorities and women in North Africa in the post-revolutionary uprisings or awakening, especially as it relates ethnicity and women’s rights. The book argues that women and minority rights should be protected in order to promote equality. Societies need to become more inclusive than they are currently in respect of group rights.
The book underlines that all countries are bound by international law to recognize and to protect minority rights. The 16 chapters of the book stress the multiple identities that characterize multicultural North Africa, which includes Jewish roots, Christian, Arab, Berber, Muslim, African, European, and Andalusian legacies, that are still strong and dynamic today.
According to Ennaji, these societies should eradicate gender-based discrimination and violence and protect and consolidate women’s rights as a way to reinforce democratic ideas and culture. The hope for women’s emancipation and minorities’ liberation is truly a hope for a civilized society in which equal opportunities and development for all are achievable.
Moha Ennaji is a prominent Moroccan academic with research interests in culture and society, migration, gender issues, and linguistics. He is co-founder and president of the International Institute for Languages and Cultures at Fès, Morocco. He has numerous publications on linguistics, cultural studies, migration, education, and women’s studies. His most recent books include: “Multiculturalism and Democracy in North Africa” (Routledge, 2014), and “Muslim Moroccan Migrants in Europe” (Palgrave, 2015).