The Moudawana is Toothless

In this biting essay, Naoufel suggests Morocco still has a long way to go before the ideal of gender equality is reached.

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Moroccan blogger, storyteller and writer. 1 comment

Monday, March 29th, 2010


When the new Family Code (Moudawana) first came into existence, Morocco had begun embracing Human Rights for the first time. Then, acting like a bad pupil who can’t believe he got a good mark from his teacher, Morocco bragged about the new law and presented it to the world as a victory for what the official media calls, the New Era: the new regime was hailed as the champion of women’s causes and the defender of their rights, contrary to the hostile Arab environment to which it belongs. The West was supposed to applaud and Morocco to capitalize on this unique photo opportunity, now that it has become friendly to human rights activists.

While I admit that the system really allows women to seek their rights from their husbands before a judge (unless the judge has been bribed by the husband of course), and that the judge really can arbitrate in her favor, I also wonder how will this very woman reach this very judge: Will she reach the court alive? -wounded? -with a broken leg? … Let me just remember that this Moudawana, imposed by the palace, prompted hundreds of thousands of supporters to march for it, and an equal number of opponents to march against it. And the (non) million-dollar question here is: Which solution would you choose to show empathy for an illiterate? Would you get him/her into school and keep looking after him/her until he/she gets a degree or, would you give him/her the degree outright? … Morocco chose the second option.

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Translated by Hisham from مدونة الأسرة لا تجد ما تأكل

Posted on Monday, March 29th, 2010

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