This day is symbolic. Notable but nuanced progress. This Thursday, October 10, is the national day of the Moroccan woman. Many structural reforms have been initiated during the last twenty years. Among them, the Moudawana, the nationality code, the schooling of girls, the access of women to decision-making positions, the adoption of the gender approach in all areas and the programs to combat violence against women, as Jamila Sayouri, a human rights activist and president of the Adala Association for the Right to a Fair Trial, noted. She stated, that, despite the progress made, inequalities between women and men persist in Moroccan society.
Other advances include the increased penalties for rape, the repeal of paragraph 2 of Article 475, which authorized the rapist to marry his victim, and the entry into force of Law 103-13 on combating violence (economic, physical, psychological or sexual) towards women. The latter nonetheless includes “always some flaws”, as she noted, before emphasizing that “the legal protection of women’s rights and their accessibility to justice are fundamental issues that must be strengthened, and through the establishment of mechanisms and measures to simplify procedures”.
For Hayat Lahbaili, an actress, it is worth remembering that women are the pillars of the realization of profound economic, political and social changes, which are essential for the evolution and development of society. “The primordial role played by Moroccan women requires their empowerment in all areas of social life,” she later supported, before putting forward the 2011 Constitution that reflects Morocco’s desire to consolidate gender equality, dignity and better access to socio-economic rights. However, she regrets that the application of these principles on the ground remains insufficient.