In her 2005 book ‘’Moroccan Islamists and the Challenges to the Monarchy’’ (Paris: Éditions La Décourverte, 2005), the Tunisian writer Malika Zeghal argues that the question of the Moroccan nation has been - for more than a century – formulated in relation to Islam. She argues however, that now a supplementary question has been added - that of the representation and the political participation of the individual citizen. This newly created space for citizenship has, at least in part, been initiated by Moroccan feminists’ claims for women’s rights and the secularisation of the Family Code, a collection of laws regularising family relationships including marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance. This paper describes the notion of equal rights, which were codified by the 2004 amended Family Code and put forward by two of the leading women’s non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Morocco – L’union de l’action féminine and the Association démocratique des femmes du Maroc. The paper also highlights the challenges to the Code’s implementation, especially in rural areas, and discusses an alternative ideology of gender justice, which predates the 2004 Family Code.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.