Improving Women’s Rights in Morocco: Lights and Shadows of the New Family Code (Moudawana)

By Manuela Deiana.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Deeply modifying the Personal Status Code dating back to 1957, the Moroccan family code (Moudawana) was introduced in 2004 after a long and sometimes dramatic process promoted by Moroccan women against retrograde Islamists and male domination. It was welcomed as one of the most advanced texts regarding family law in Arab and Muslim countries, due to its ability to reconcile universal human rights principles and the country’s Islamic heritage. In a society at half way between the construction of a secular identity and the Islamist revival, this innovative code is considered a fundamental achievement in the framework of an (incomplete) transition toward democratisation. The present paper aims to investigate lights and shadows of the Moroccan family law by showing an overview of the debate and climate of suspicion generated by the reform process, through a snapshot of the perception of the Moudawana among the postgraduate students of the most ancient faculty of the Moroccan capital: the “Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines” of Rabat.

Keywords: Morocco, Moudawana, Women’s Rights, Islam, Students’ Attitude

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 11, pp.69-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 615.063KB).

Manuela Deiana

PhD student, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy

Manuela Deiana received her 4-year-degree (laurea) in Political Sciences (branch of International Politics) from the University of Cagliari (Italy) in 2004. She discussed the final dissertation «“Under the sign of an indefinite oppression”. Revolution and nationalism in Algeria», moving from an analysis of Frantz Fanon’s writings on the Algerian liberation struggle. Involved in the field of international cooperation, she has worked with international NGOs dealing with women’s issues and children protection. In 2007 she has worked for the Committee of Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) at the European Parliament. Currently at the 3rd year of a PhD on History, Institutions and International Relations of Contemporary Africa in the University of Cagliari, with a research project about the historical and political evolution of Morocco during the last period of the Protectorate and the beginnings of the independence.


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