First Published: 2014-04-13

Morocco women take fight for gender equality to Rabat streets
Participants carry banners demanding ‘review of discriminatory laws’, ‘women's safety in public places’, and ‘equality as right, not privilege.’
Middle East Online

Tough battle to win

RABAT - A group of around 800 Moroccans, mostly women, staged a march in the capital Rabat on Sunday demanding that a constitutional guarantee of gender equality be applied in the kingdom.

The march from the city centre to parliament was led by the Civil Coalition for the Application of Article 19, which is reportedly made up of some 500 NGOs, and was joined by civil society organisations, lawmakers, rights groups and lawyers.

Participants carried banners demanding a "comprehensive review of all discriminatory laws", "women's safety in public places", and "equality as a right, not a privilege".

Article 19 of Morocco's 2011 constitution guarantees that "men and women enjoy on an equal footing civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights and freedoms".

However it has yet to be applied by the country's Islamist-led government.

The protestors accused the government of "stalling the application" of Article 19.

Fawzia El-Asouli, coordinator of the coalition, said that the government was also "stalling in the application of laws that protect women from violence and discrimination".

The group also called for a petition to urge the prime minister to apply laws protecting women's rights.

The coalition citing figures of the State Planning Commission says 62 percent of women in Morocco aged between 18 and 64 have been the victims of violence.

Last year, rights campaigners in the kingdom obtained the amendment of Article 475 of the penal code, which had allowed a rapist to avoid criminal charges by marrying his victim.

 

Iraq operation to liberate Anbar faces barrage of criticism

Coalition raids target headquarters of rebel troops in Yemen capital

Libya PM survives assassination attempt

EU calls for resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks

Arrest of several FIFA leaders as part of twin corruption inquiry

Fast pace of executions in Saudi Arabia 'very disturbing'

Tunisia begins hearings into ex-regime's rights abuses

‘Islamic State’ executes 20 men in ruins of Syria ancient city

Saudi Arabia announces sanctions against two Hezbollah leaders

Libya to fight aggression with 'strength'

Iran says nuclear talks could go beyond deadline

Hamas accused of committing war crimes against civilians

German court rejects Yemenis' case over US drone killings

Kuwait emir urges Muslim states to fight extremism

NY Times journalist has Turkish citizenship revoked

Military site inspections necessary to Iran deal

Iraqi forces on outskirts of Ramadi

Syrian refugees ignored at Turkey poll campaign

Director 'shocked' at Morocco’s prostitution film ban

US criticises Shiite name of Iraqi military operation

Israel warplanes strike Gaza after rocket attack

Pro-government fighters retake Yemen city from Shiite rebels

Libya militias trap civilians in Benghazi

EU border agency plans to expand migrant rescue operation

Syria state TV blames ‘foreign enemies’ for signal jamming

Palestinians and jihadists clash in Yarmouk

Iraq refugees forced back into conflict zones

Kuwait restores Islamist lawmaker's citizenship

Washington Post reporter goes on trial behind closed doors in Iran

Iraq launches operation to drive ‘Islamic State’ from Anbar

New airport in restive eastern Turkey

Iran ‘thwarts’ US cyber attack on Oil Ministry’

Egypt opens border crossing with Gaza for 48 hours

Litany of problems keep Iraqi army weak and ineffective

Rouhani: most Iranians favour peace

Iran Foreign Minister discusses Yemen conflict in neutral Oman

Palestinians dismiss Netanyahu initiative

Three Moroccans jailed for homosexuality

Oxfam: 16 million Yemenis have no access to clean water

US, Iraq at loggerheads over Ramadi

Soldier kills comrades in Tunisia barracks shooting

Netanyahu names rightist ally as new Foreign Ministry chief

Iraq rejects US criticism of security forces over defeat in Ramadi

Hezbollah captures hilltops from Qaeda wing in Syria

Saudi Shiites hold mass funeral for victims of mosque bombing