Thursday, December 6, 2012

Making Women’s Rights Real, Not Virtual

Our partners in Morocco are truly revolutionary.  Led by and comprised of women, our ten local Moroccan NGO partners are standing up for all women across the country. They are spearheading efforts for a specific violence against women (VAW) law in Morocco. 

Global Rights' Moroccan Partners at the Chamber
of Councillors (Photo Credit:
Last Sunday, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, our partners kicked off four days of advocacy to gain support for legislation to stop violence against women.  Almost 12,000 text messages and 13,510 emails were sent across Morocco with the slogan, “Making our Constitutional Rights Real, not Virtual: Pass a Violence Against Women Law!”

Although the Moroccan constitution says women have equal rights, and the Moroccan government has taken steps to raise awareness about violence against women, women are still subject to discrimination and violence.

During their four days of advocacy, our partner NGOs met with members of the Moroccan Parliament to discuss the necessity of a VAW law.  Unfortunately, domestic violence is prevalent in Morocco and negatively effects family and society. The partners addressed the importance of fostering a human rights culture in Morocco and how specific legislation that criminalizes violence against women will further women’s rights in the country.

The partners also had the opportunity to observe the public Parliamentary session in the Second Chamber of Parliament (the Chamber of Councillors), which is equivalent to the United States Senate. To our surprise, the Vice President of the Chamber opened the session by asking everyone to thank and applaud the work of our local NGOs present advocating for a VAW law! 

This week, the Chamber of Parliament President even wrote about meeting with our partners during the Parliamentary session. Click here to read more. (Arabic)

For the past twelve years, Global Rights’ Maghreb team has been working alongside local women’s groups in Morocco to promote and protect women’s rights and push for gender equality.  They’ve provided partners with the tools and skills they need to make lasting change in their country. Thank you to the Embassy of the Netherlands in Rabat for making our work possible.

If the VAW law is passed, it would be the first of its kind in the Arab world. I look forward to keeping you updated on their progress!


PS: To read more about Global Rights’ work on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, click here.  (French)

Posted by Susan M. Farnsworth

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