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Moudawana reforms in Morocco - Research Paper Example

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Women play a major role in the family dynamics in Morocco as they help form the structure of the society. Initially, Moroccan women had fewer privileges to enjoy in the family. They were treated as inferiors and the men around them made all family decisions…
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Download file to see previous pages Women play a major role in the family dynamics in Morocco as they help form the structure of the society. Initially, Moroccan women had fewer privileges to enjoy in the family. They were treated as inferiors and the men around them made all family decisions. While women were restricted from divorcing their husbands, men were allowed to break up with their wives without their consent. Women could not marry without the approval of their guardians, and when married, they were to obey their husbands. On the other hand, men could marry as many wives as they wanted without any approval from their wives. In other words, women were treated as objects. When the Moudawana reform movement was adopted in 1958, these unjust laws continued to prevail as women had no control over their marriage life. Some even argued that getting married was the end of a woman’s life because if she was unfortunate and faced hardships, she did not have an easy way out. All this started to change, when the Women's Action Union was formed and decided to sweep out these injustices against women. This union catalyzed the reform to play its full part in the fight. This was the start of the Moudawana Reforms in Morocco. Prior to the formation of this union, the reform movement governed the family laws but gave few privileges to women. The governed areas by the law included child custody, inheritance, divorce and marriage. Men enjoyed many privileges and saw traditional laws as an opportunity to suppress women. The same laws made life unbearable for women and bound the reforms. This paper will focus on the contributions made by women and especially the Islam activists in Moudawana reforms. The efforts made by different organizations led by women activists would also be highlighted. Moudawanna as a national Issue The Moudawana law suppressed women as it gave them limited opportunities to enjoy their rights. The main goal of the activists as argued earlier was to ensure that women were treated with fairness in the society. This was a fight against authoritarianism as defined by Childress. It is defined as the type of ruling used by rulers to oppress their women. In this case, women were the oppressed group. Regarding women as the main element making up the family and eventually the society, they had to have privileges in life. Men could make any decision in their marriage without the consent of their wives. On the side of women, even the least decisions, for example deciding who to get married to and when, needed a guardian’s intervention. Women were getting married at the tender age of 15 while instead they should have been in schools studying. This shows that women were deprived of their human rights (Bran 276). As argued by Bayat, resource mobilization theory, collective behavior approach, and crowd theory were necessary. No single woman could push for the reforms on her own efforts. This called for an ‘imagined solidarity’ in which women had to come together and create set actions that had to be followed (890). Imagined solidarity was a situation in which different people or groups visualized to have similar interests even though they fought using different strategies but headed to the same goal. Similarly, Childress argues that social, community-based, coalitional, and organizational movements played a major role in the entire reforms. This was because with the political parties in place, activists saw community-based movement as the best (1). The argument to support this was that people were heard the most when they are together. The main goal of the activists in the reform was to persuade the government to treat women more equally, just as they treated men. Their main goal could not be reached by the activists’ words only, and they needed support from as many Moroccans as possible so that it would be easier to prove to the government that the Moroccans indeed demanded for change. Engaging many Moroccans into the idea of reforms was done through the 1 million-signature petition ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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