This article examines the rarely talked about subtleties of Moroccan reform in the realm of women’s rights and its inadequate fulfillment of obligations to international human rights standards. The Preamble to Morocco’s post-Arab Spring 2011 constitution follows the example of its 1996 version, in which the state declared its “determination to abide by the universally recognised human rights.” However, while the state is often hailed in the international forums and media as a true trendsetter in the realm of women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa region, this analysis of the much celebrated Family Code and its two main goals-“doing justice to women” and “preserving men’s dignity”-and of the regime’s ambivalent discourse on gender equality as defined by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) paints a more realistic picture. Both of these cases indicate that the state is failing to ameliorate the legal position of women and to consider women as autonomous and individual human beings with intrinsic rights not contingent upon first fulfilling their customary obligations. I contend, therefore, that the way the reformed Family Code has formulated its goals and the way that the law and the state continue to conceptualize a woman go against the main principle of individuality contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and CEDAW to which Morocco has continually committed itself, at least on paper.
Research Article|July 01 2014
Katja Žvan Elliott; Morocco and Its Women’s Rights Struggle: A Failure to Live up to Its Progressive Image. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 1 July 2014; 10 (2): 1–30. doi: https://doi.org/10.2979/jmiddeastwomstud.10.2.1
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