Rabat – Head of the Moroccan Government Saad Eddine El Othmani has said that women’s rights have seen progress in Morocco. He underlined that the country has invested in providing the favorable cultural, social, legal and economic environment to empower Moroccan women and girls.
El Othmani made his comments on Saturday, October 10, during the International Forum for Economic Empowerment of Women and Girls. The event coincides with the National Day of Moroccan Women.
He noted, however, that sustaining these “favorable conditions” requires collective action and concerted efforts.
El Othmani stressed the importance of empowering women on the economic level, arguing that financial stability and independence is a crucial element of both individual and collective prosperity and stability.
Recalling King Mohammed VI announcement speech of the 2004 Family code or Moudawana during the Saturday gathering, the Moroccan official stated that Morocco started celebrating the National Day of Moroccan Women since 2008..
King Mohammed VI announced the Moudawana on October 10, 2003, before its official entry into force in January 2004. Its purpose is to safeguard the rights of Moroccan women, including the right to divorce, the right to self-guardianship, and the right to child custody.
El Othmani also noted that the Moudawana was a “big step” in Morocco’s goal to empower women, starting with the fight against gendered violence.
However, 12 years after Morocco issued the Moudawana, a study by the Ministry of Solidarity revealed that more than 13% of Moroccans were not aware of the existence of the code. The research surveyed 1,200 people across the country.
In addition, El Othmani welcomed Moroccan women’s role in “overcoming challenges and proving themselves” through the leading roles they occupy in Morocco.
On September 1, Minister of the Interior Abdeloafi Laftit called for the strengthening of women’s political participation in Morocco. He said that gender equality is among King Mohammed VI’s “top priorities.”
However, during a meeting with women’s organizations as part of preparations for the 2021 elections, Laftit said that women’s political representation has not yet reached the required level.
Meanwhile El Othmani concluded his Saturday speech by noting that his government still has a lot to do in terms of gender equality and women empowerment.