In 2004, the Human Rights Committee noted its concern about the high level of domestic violence against women and called upon Morocco to “take suitable practical measures to combat this phenomenon”. In spite of more than ten years of strong civil society advocacy for a comprehensive violence against women law, the Moroccan government has failed to respond and meet its obligation to protect Moroccan women from violence.
In addition to its support for project work and policy dialogue, the EBRD’s Gender team also commissions research and takes an active part in the international debate on the promotion of gender equality.
In 2014 we commissioned a report, Enhancing Women’s Economic Empowerment in the EBRD’s Operations through Voice, Agency and Participation, examining the influence of legal pluralism and social norms in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. The report’s main objective is to provide recommendations on designing project interventions at the Bank that are more reflective and responsive to women’s strategic and practical needs, while contributing overall to the enhancement of women’s voice, agency and participation in social and economic life within the specific contexts of these countries.
These five countries were selected, not only because of shared cultural similarities and Islamic heritage, but also because they co-exist in a region with the lowest women’s labour force participation and economic activity in the world. This is despite high levels of literacy and advances in health, and is what the World Bank has termed the “MENA paradox”. As our study shows, social norms, institutional barriers and discrimination embedded in plural legal frameworks are behind this paradox. As a result, women’s access to economic opportunities that might otherwise raise their voice and influence in society is particularly hindered in this region. The study was designed to align with the inclusive growth paradigm: equal access to opportunities for all members of society, taking into account their specific needs.
Initial findings and analysis were presented to various stakeholders in 2014, including the Multilateral Development Banks Working Group on Gender, the Development Finance Institutions Meeting of Social Experts, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and internal departments at the Bank. The full publication is expected to be available in early 2015.
A suicide case and a campaign to stop rapists avoiding jail via wedlock finally brought change but further reform is necessary. A law that allowed rapists to dodge jail by marrying their victims has been changed by the Moroccan parliament after a campaign by NGOs, including my organisation, the Association Marocaine de Planification Familiale (AMPF).
This report follows up on our previous work by assessing what progress has been made in eliminating child domestic labor in Morocco since 2005, and what challenges remain. Although no nationwide surveys similar to the 2001 studies are currently available, our 2012 research—including interviews with 20 former child domestic workers in Casablanca and rural sending areas, as well as interviews with nongovernmental organizations, government officials, and other stakeholders—suggests that the number of children working as domestic workers has dropped since 2005, and that fewer girls are working at very young ages. Public education campaigns by the government, NGOs, and United Nations (UN) agencies, together with increased media attention, have raised public awareness regarding child domestic labor and the risks that girls face. “When I first went to Morocco 10 years ago, no one wanted to talk about the issue,” an International Labour Organization (ILO) official said. “Now, child domestic labor is no longer a taboo subject.” Government efforts to increase school enrollment have shown notable success and helped reduce the number of children engaged in child labor.
This research paper intends to analyze the impact on their society at large of democratization of women’s roles at home and at the workplace. Because it is important to know the past in order to understand the present, the status of women in the Maghreb countries in the pre-independence era will be presented. But the major part of the research will begin in the 1980s with the early autonomous feminist wave and continues until the present: the first decade of the 2000s.
Several international instruments have provided for women’s equality, but it was at the 1993 Vienna Conference that women’s rights became an integral part of human rights, highlighting the issue of violence against women. However, in spite of progress since then, in particular during the last few decades, women are still far from having reached the equality they have been striving for. Increased information being transmitted via the media, but also via the work done by female activists, together with increased education have led to sweeping social changes, creating awareness among women. As a result, women are increasingly breaking the taboos that used to keep them silent and submissive and are asking for help at the centers ready to aid them find solutions to their problems of violence.