Morocco: Elections Test Gains in Women’s Rights

In Morocco, constitutional reforms approved earlier this year that marked a gain in women’s rights are now being put to the test. The parliamentary elections of November 25th determine if the reforms will be put into action. A notable reform concerning women’s rights in the constitution is the recognition that women are entitled to equal economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights. Another reform that the elections will implement is a higher quota of seats reserved for women. Morocco’s parliament will now be made up of around 15 percent women, instead of the previous 9 percent.

Human rights groups have watched the elections closely, since the success of women’s rights reforms depend on proper implementation by elected officials. Many human rights groups are concerned that many officials are unaware of important human rights issues, including domestic violence. A joint statement issued to the United Nations Committee against Torture by The Advocates for Human Rights and Global Rights identifies key recommendations to the Moroccan government that protect women from violence. A 2011 national Moroccan governmental study reported that 63 percent of women had been victims of violence in the previous year.

Compiled from: Women’s eNews, Moroccan Vote Puts Women’s Gain to Crucial Test (21 November 2011).