Sunday, March 08, 2015

International Women's Day in Morocco

On this International Women’s Day, we should celebrate not only the great achievements and accomplishments of women across the world but also set out our focus on what more must be done.

In Morocco there are nationwide rallies organised by NGOs and political parties  to to press for gender equality and the fight against discrimination

There is more prospect of this new generation of girls becoming political leaders than ever beforeJulia Gillard -Former Australian Prime Minister
The Coalition of Equality and Democracy, who are organising the rallies, have taken up the slogan: “hand in hand we defend equality and democracy.”

Leading Moroccan intellectual and public figure Ahmad Assid says: ‘The rally of March 8 is a rally to lift discrimination against women and for equality between all the Moroccan people. It is a rally that says no to violence against women and no to raping minor girls in the name of marriage.”

The government unveiled last week a draft law to established a specialised “authority to ensure parity between men and woman” as laid out in the constitution. The draft law could be put to vote in the parliament next week and if passed it would be a major win for women’s rights activists in the country.

Article 19 of the Moroccan constitution says: “Men and women have equal civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights.”

“The state shall work towards the establishment of parity between men and women. Therefore, it has assigned a specialised authority to ensure parity between men and women and fight against all forms of discrimination.” Bassima al-Hakkaoui, minister of solidarity, women, family and social development, described the draft law as "victory for Moroccan women."

As a follow up to International Women's Day a Conference will be held on March 10th in Rabat "Citizen participation: What place and role of women in local governance?"

The aim of this national meeting is to discuss the significant progress made in the field of women's rights and highlight the challenges that must be overcome in order to consolidate these achievements. However, the effective implementation of these constitutional provisions is still missing, and work is also needed to strengthen the representation of women in political parties.

The various players who will take part in the day (representatives of civil society, political parties, the media, academics and researchers ...) will have the opportunity to exchange in order to contribute to the debate on the basis of several questions.

This meeting is part of the project "Local Governance and women's rights" initiated by the Associative Space (L’Espace Associatif) in partnership with Care International and with the support of the European Union.

The View from Fez hope YOUR International Women's Day is peaceful and productive

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