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Moroccan Women in continuous progress

By Basma Lahmine
International Women’s day on March 8th is an imperative day in Morocco since it is an occasion to drive the attention to women’s achievements in many fields. Indeed the Moroccan woman plays a significant role in the society because of her contribution to education, the economy and politics. But before talking about women in Morocco today, first I am going to give you a brief history about Moroccan women.

A long time ago most Moroccan women did not go to the school and got married very early. For instance, it was very normal for a girl of nine years old to get married and even get pregnant at this age or little bit later. The only occupation of most women was to take care of their children, house and husband. The woman had to satisfy the needs of her husband since she is completely dependent on him financially. Moreover, Islamic law gives men the right to have four wives. In general, the husband hides from his first wife that he is married to another woman. In some cases, the wife knows that her husband has another wife. For example, this may happen if the first wife cannot have babies or she only gives birth to girls. In this case, she knows the reason behind his second marriage- to have a baby boy. In fact, it is totally true that the male gender has more privileges in our society. The fact that the law gives the right to uncles or cousins to share the inheritance if all children are girls creates tension and pressure to have a boy in order to avoid this sharing of the inheritance. Politics used to be dominated by males since woman were perceived as weak and incapable of being a leader. However, things did not stay this way and a lot of changes have been made.
Nowadays, a woman is not anymore allowed to get married before the age of eighteen. So, the rate of schooled girls has incredibly increased in the last years. Women are now educated and more aware of their rights. Most importantly, women are becoming more and more independent. The woman has control of her life and can decide what the best is for her. Moreover, the woman is even competing with the man in the work world for different kinds of job such as doctors, lawyers, and engineers. The Moroccan government highly encourages women to get involved in politics. Women have not only the right to be candidates in mixed electoral lists, but also have a national list in parliamentary elections that allow them for at least 10% of the seats.
Women can also get important political positions; for instance, in our government we have women ministers such as the minister of culture and of health. Besides, the Moroccan parliament has passed a new family code which is called “Mudawana” in order to improve the status of women and children as well. For example, men are no longer allowed to marry another woman without the permission of the first wife. At least the woman has the choice to accept whether or not her husband gets married, which empowers her. Nevertheless, the practice of polygamy is still an issue in Morocco especially in the rural areas. On the other hand, in case of divorce, the woman has the right to equally share what has been earned after they got married.
To conclude, it can be deduced that Morocco is making a huge progress in terms of women’s rights. We are definitely not reaching yet an absolute perfect change, but we cannot deny that improvements have been made and women have better lives recently. Hence, Morocco is taking a good direction concerning the development of women’s rights in the society.

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