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, Morocco: new violence against women law, 2018

Notes a new Moroccan law - Law 103.13 on the elimination of violence against women - that criminalises violence against women. The law was approved by Parliament on 14th February 2018 and entered into force in September 2018 and punishes various types of violence committed both in the private and public spheres, including rape, sexual harassment and domestic abuse. However, it was criticized for not outlawing marital rape or spousal violence, and failing to provide a precise definition of domestic violence.

See also and

Achcar, Gilbert, The People Want : A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprisings, Berkley, CA, University of California Press, 2013, pp. 358

Achcar rejects the concept of a sudden 'Spring', arguing instead that there is a long term deep-seated revolution which will take many years to develop. Achcar's Marxist inspired analysis stresses the basic socio-economic changes required.  He also covers the role of both the relatively tolerant monarchies of Morocco and Jordan and the 'oil monarchies' of the Gulf. 

Al-Tamini, Jumana, #MeToo offers lessons for Arabs too, Gulf News, 2018

This article describes the difficulty of talking about sexual harassment in conservative Arab societies, which have made the ‘MeToo’ movement in the Arab world less significant than in the West. However, it also points to the fact that the activism of Arab women is becoming less of a taboo and mentions the legislative reforms that took place in countries such as Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon.

For another thorough analysis of the cultural impediments to openly discuss sexual violence and sexual harassment within Arab societies, see also and

Anyang' Nyong'o, Peter, Popular Struggles for Democracy, ed. Anyang' Nyong'o, Peter, London, Zed Books, 1987, pp. 288

Contributors provide case studies of Morocco, Uganda, People’s Republic of Congo, South Africa, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya and Swaziland.

Brémon, Anaïs ; Baqué, Irene ; Hakimm, Sabrina ; Spera, Claudine ; Ford, Liz, I will not keep silent: Khadija rape case spurs women into action in Morocco - video, The Guardian, 2018

After the kidnapping and gang rape of a 17-yearl old young woman called Khadija by 12 men, public outrage in Morocco led women and men to organize a campaign combating violence against women. ‘#Masaktach’ (She was not silent) first took to the streets of Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, with early members carrying whistles, which they handed out to women as a defense against sexual harassment. Khadija was held for two months, during which time she was starved, drugged, beaten, gang-raped, tortured, tattooed with swastikas, and burned with cigarettes.  

See also and

Chaban, Stephanie, Addressing violence against women through legislative reform in States transitioning from the Arab Spring, In Lahai, John and Khanyisela Moyo (eds.) Gender in Human Rights and Transitional Justice, Cham, Switzerland, Palgrave Macmillan,

The authors examine legal reforms relating to gender and violence against women in states emerging from the Arab Spring, such as Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen. They argue that, while legal reform has been uneven, women’s organizations and movements (particularly those that are feminist or feminist-oriented) are key, though not sufficient, to ensure positive legal reforms.

Chafai, Habiba, Contextualising street sexual harassment in Morocco: a discriminatory sociocultural representation of women, The Journal of North African Studies, Vol. 22, no. 5, 2017, pp. 821-840

This study seeks to reveal the relationship between the stereotypical images of Moroccan girls and women and the violence that is often committed against them. It suggests that women’s location in the power structures of the family, school, media and the law, as well as their unequal access to the economic and political spheres, all contribute to fostering violent attitudes and practices against women in the public arena. The evolution of the status of women requires changes in their freedom-of-movement, security and emancipation. Future research should address women’s discourse and experiences of street harassment as well as its social meaning, prevalence, severity and impact.

Darhour, Hanane ; Dahlerup, Drude, Double-Edged Politics on Women’s Rights in the MENA Region. Gender and Politics, Cham, Switzerland, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, pp. 311

The authors explore women’s activism and political representation, as well as discursive changes, with a particular focus on secular and Islamic feminism. They also examine changes in public opinion on women’s position in society in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Jordan.

Ennaji, Moha ; Sadiqi, Fatima ; Vintges, Karen, Moroccan Feminisms: New Perspectives, ed. Darhour, Hanane, Dahlerup, Drude, Trenton, NJ, Africa World Press, 2016, pp. 260

The authors explores the various aspects of Moroccan feminism from a historical, sociological and comparative perspective. They discuss women and politics, women’s NGOs, female identities, women and Sufism, and their role in the 20 February Movement (20 February 2011 – March/April 2012). They also cover women’s role in society in general, from various but inter-related perspectives: secular, Islamic, grassroots, etc.

See also Ennaji, Moha (2020) ‘Women’s activism in North Africa: a historical and socio-political approach’ in Darhour, Hanane and Drude Dahlerup (eds) (2020) Double-Edged Politics on Women’s Rights in the MENA Region. Gender and Politics, Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 157-178.

Analyses women’s activism strategies in Tunisia and Morocco directed at transforming gender roles; pursuing better legal rights and women’s progress in the public sphere; opposing violence and discrimination against women, and trying to consolidate democracy in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

Franceschet, Susan ; Krook, Mona Lena ; Tan, Netina, The Palgrave Handbook of Women’s Political Rights, ed. Ennaji, Moha, Sadiqi, Fatima, Vintges, Karen, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, pp. 784

Covers women’s political rights across all major regions of the world, focusing both on women’s right to vote and women’s right to run for political office. The countries explored are Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, South Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States, Uganda, Uruguay, and Zimbabwe.

Hemström, Cajsa, Feminist movements as agents of political change: An analysis of feminist social movements’ impact on labour rights legislation in Morocco, ed. Franceschet, Susan, Krook, Mona Lena, Tan, Netina, Uppsala University, 2019

Inspired by the debate over whether globalisation has brought more benefits or disadvantages, and whether feminist movements around the world are gaining more agency and leverage, this thesis explores what influence feminist movements exercised on labour rights legislation in Morocco.

Isodoros, Konstantina, Awakening Protests in Morocco and the Western Sahara, In Manji; Ekine, African Awakening: The Emerging Revolutions (E. I.2.3. Third Wave of Protests: 2011 - 2021), Cape Town, Dakar, Nairobi and Oxford, Pambazuka Press (imprint of Fahamu), pp. 122-129

Jin, Zhixin, How Do Anti-abortion and Abortion Rights Groups Deploy Ideas About Islam in Their Activism Regarding Abortion, Journal of Politics and Law, Vol. 12, no. 1, 2018, pp. 38-47

Abortion is a hotly debated topic among Muslim communities. In this paper, the author examines how both anti-abortion and abortion rights groups deploy ideas about Islam. She analised the language used by these groups when describing Muslim communities and Muslim views and found that a majority of them did not include arguments from both sides. Almost all the Anti-Abortion Websites included generalizations about the Muslim community, and also used the conservative elements in Islamic Religion to persuade more Muslims to join their stance on abortion.

Middle East Institute, Revolution and Political Transformation in the Middle East, ed. Middle East Institute, , Outcomes and Prospects, Vol. 3, Washington DC, Middle East Institute, 2011, pp. 32

Ottaway, Marina ; Ottaway, David, The New Arab Uprisings: Lessons from the Past, Middle East Policy Council, Vol. 27, no. 1, 2020

The authors look back to 2011 and the varied outcomes in four different contexts which shaped the possibility of and the reactions to mass protest. These are: the Maghreb (Tunisia and Morocco); Egypt; the Levant (Syria and Iraq) - states created out of  the Ottoman Empire and then dominated by the colonial powers Britain and France; and the Gulf Arab monarchies. They then discuss 'whither the second wave?' in relation to Sudan, Algeria, Labanon and Iraq and draw some provisional conclusions.

Sadiqi, Fatima ; Ouguir, Aziza, Reflecting on feminism in Africa. A conversation from Morocco, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, Vol. 17, no. 2, 2018, pp. 269-278

Interview with Fatima Sadiqi, professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies, on the discourse around feminism, Islam, gender equality, social justice and democracy in Morocco.

Salime, Zakia, Between Feminism and Islam: Human Rights and Sharia Law in Morocco, Minneapolis MN, University of Minnesota Press, 2011, pp. 248

Study of both feminist and Islamist organizations in Morocco showing how two have influenced each other’s agendas through decades of activism.

Spierings, Niels, Democratic Disillusionment? Desire for Democracy after the Arab Spring, International Political Science Review, 2019

This article examines the impact of the uprisings on popular attitudes, using 45 public opinion surveys across the region to test his theoretical framework of a consequence-based approach that includes the concept of deprivation. When the data are combined to provide a country by country analysis they suggest that countries like Egypt and Morocco where initial protest had rapid political results but failed in the longer term, disillusionment was highest. Conversely a lack of major protest (Algeria) or of initial reform (Yemen) maintained desire for democracy.  Results for Lebanon and Tunisia showed very different respomnses from different groups in society: Sunnia in Lebanon and the very poor in Tunisia.

Svetlova, Ksenia, Rising from ashes of Arab Spring, women lead a first Muslim feminist revolution, Times of Israel, 2019

Highlights important challenges that women face in the Kurdish part of Syria; Tunisia; Morocco; Egypt; and the Persian Gulf in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

Youngs, Richard ; Boonstra, Jos ; Vizoso, Julia Choucair ; Echagüe, Ana ; Jarábik, Balázs ; Kausch, Kristina, Is the European Union Supporting Democracy in its Neighbourhood?, Madrid, FRIDE, 2008, pp. 150

EU ‘neighbourhood plans’ agreed with neighbouring states link economic cooperation with human rights and democratization. This report includes case studies of how this has been implemented - or not - in Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Ukraine, Belarus and Azerbaijan. FRIDE has published a range of reports and policy briefs - all available online - with critical analyses of ‘democracy promotion’, especially by the European Union and its members, including in the context of the ‘Arab Spring’.