Thursday, October 05, 2006

First woman governor in Morocco

In a further sign of the progress Morocco is making in gender reform, for the first time ever since Morocco's independence in 1956, a woman has been nominated governor of a district. According to Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, Moroccan King Mohammad VI named Fawziya Amansar governor of the district of Ain al-Shaq in the area around Casablanca. The appointment was was the latest in a long string of promotions by the king, who is replacing many top local and central government officials.

Amansar is a formal state servant in charge of construction and urban planning in the provincial administration of Casablanca.

Ever since he was elected king, Mohammad VI has pushed for more rights for women.

In 2004, Morocco approved one of the most progressive laws on women's and family rights in the Arab world.

Under the reform to the 'mudawana' family code, polygamy became acceptable only in rare circumstances, and only with the permission of a judge and a man's first wife.

The new law also raised the age of marriage for girls from 15 to 18 and gave wives joint responsibility of the family with their husbands.

In related news:

The Moroccan education ministry has decided to scrap a Koranic verse from textbooks on Islamic education, along with a hadith - traditions relating to the words of the Prophet Mohammed important to determine the Muslim way of life - and the photo of a hijab-clad girl. Education minister Al-Habib Al-Maliki reportedly told the Moroccan parliament the move was aimed at preventing the rise of fundamentalism among youths.

The Koranic omitted verse reads: "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent and to draw their veils over their bosoms..."

The scrapped hadith quoted the Prophet as cursing men and women who crossed-dressed.

The decision to remove the picture of the hijab-clad young woman reportedly followed strong pressure from women's rights groups.

It has also started promoting changes to school curricula - reportedly scrapping references to 'jihad' in Islamic textbooks, among other things - following the 9/11 attacks on the US


1 comment:

Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

If only the rest of the Muslim world would follow suit ~ 3 cheers!!