Under the slogan ‘In Morocco 40.000 female minors are married every year: Our daughters in danger’, the Anaouat association for women and children has begun a campaign aimed at reducing the number of underage marriages in 3 rural municipalities in the province of Chichaoua in Morocco: Sidi Mhammed Dalil, Sid lmokhtar and Mzouda.
Indeed, according to the association’s statistics and program ‘From child to child’ from the Delegation of Education from Chichaoua province, in rural areas 70% of girls aged under 18 drop out of school in order to get married.
To fight this scourge, Anaouat is considering involving all the stakeholders: judges, religious leaders, local authorities and families in order to raise awareness about early marriage. The press is also targeted to obtain their support for the campaign.
Notable among the first activities of the campaign are as follows:
- Press conference on 8th December 2016 in the presence of 14 journalists and stakeholders in education, in order to call on political actors and from civil society to mobilize against underage marriages.
- Participation in a radio program from a regional radio station from Marrakech of the Société nationale de radiodiffusion et de télévision last 25th December 2016. Representatives of Anaouat, a sociologue and an inspector from the educational plan of the Provincial Directorate of Chichaoua explained the main goals of the campaign. They also discussed the factors behind this tragedy, in particular, poverty, ignorance, the lacks of the educational system, the conservative mentalities and the customary marriages which are not registered, especially in rural areas.
- A meeting with the president of the Religious Council to obtain his support and commitment to combat underage marriages, during which Anaouat presented a testimony from a young woman victim of early marriage.
- Awareness-raising activities addressed to parents and families of young girls led by the campaign team composed of young people from Sidi Mhamed adalil municipality.
This campaign is part of the project CSO WINS « Capacity building in Southern Mediterranean to open policy dialogue and monitoring for women in society » fund by the European Union, in synergy with the action of the Foundation.
The campaign is coordinated by Anaouat in partnership with the Association for the Development and Enhancement of Women (ADEW, Egypt) as part of a peer-to-peer learning exchange.
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 Foreign Affairs and International Development 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.