Beyond the Moudawana

In 2004, the implementation of the Moudawana, or Family Code, altered women’s rights in Morocco significantly by providing them with an easier means for divorce, a minimum marriage age of 18, and the ability to pass on citizenship, among other things. But the Moudawana still faces opposition, both from those who disagree with the new […]

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010


In 2004, the implementation of the Moudawana, or Family Code, altered women’s rights in Morocco significantly by providing them with an easier means for divorce, a minimum marriage age of 18, and the ability to pass on citizenship, among other things. But the Moudawana still faces opposition, both from those who disagree with the new rights afforded to women and by those who feel that the law doesn’t provide enough rights.

But divorce, marriage, and citizenship are not the only struggles facing women in Morocco.

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8, 2010, we’re asking: What do women in Morocco really need?

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Posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

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7 comments on “Beyond the Moudawana”

  1. they (the whole society ) need a complete overhaul of that familly code. The moudawana of 2004 is more prehistoric of the first one: it give equal patronnage of the familly to the woman and divorce right but does not oblige the woman to material contribution to the familly expenses. That by itself is a complete non sense (when the work force of Morocco is constituted of women). This moudawana is just a play with words made in order to hide the non sens of outdated islamic rules.


  2. they (the whole society ) need a complete overhaul of that familly code. The moudawana of 2004 is more prehistoric than the first one: it gives equal patronnage (of the familly) to the woman and givess divorce right to women but does not oblige the women to material contribution to familly expenses. That by itself is a complete non-sense (when the work force of Morocco is constituted of women). This moudawana is just a play with words made in order to hide the non sens of outdated islamic rules.
    this code has shown that women are stille deeply considered as sex and procreation objects.


  3. The changes brought by this code are just for the facade. The organized momentum is just for politics showing that we are open minded and still following religion, in other words: mission impossible. The impact of this code is negative because is full of contradictions and double standards. Most of the contradiction would not have been made by a young child.


  4. before talking about the moudawana , at first , we should talk about the mentalities of morrocan people , because the moroccan citizicens are not their who live in rabat , casa or agadir … who their number are small , so we must change the mentalities of the others who live in the far villages who there are not schools , we should sensibilise them about the necessity of women to our live , our country , our future . ant to empower her and teach her their rights . like that , we can’t say : mission impossible , bacause with we can do that .


  5. I am also skeptical of the motives behind the monarchy’s promotion of women’s rights and gender equality in the new family law. And I certainly agree that there are contradictions in the current Mudawana that result in terrible injustices for some citizens, particularly women.

    For example, what are the rights of a woman to custody and financial support for her children if she became pregnant outside of wedlock? The new Mudawana does give the mother the right to give her child her own last name, but the bureaucratic procedures make it almost impossible for her to register the child’s birth and obtain a Family Booklet.

    In reality, women who become pregnant outside of marriage, even if their pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, are treated as criminals and prostitutes in law and society. Some of us may feel that this is unjust, and that the humanity of all people deserves recognition and dignity. But I am not sure how legal reforms that will bring absolute equality may be made when, for example, the shari’a is clear that sex outside of marriage is zina, and houdud.

    My question is, what do you think the role of Islam should be in legal reform? How far can ijtihad go? Is it possible for the majority of Moroccans to see the kind of legal reforms that they desire and the law still remain true to Islam? Is it possible for them to accept legal changes that stand in contradiction to Islam? Or is it not so much legal reform, but actually the social policies that need reform to bring real improvements in the lives of men and women, and are necessary to bring about more egalitarian thinking?

    These are questions I have been pondering for quite sometime and would love to hear your opinions.


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