Global Rights for Women in Morocco
By Melissa Scaia, Director of International Training
Global Rights for Women continues our exciting partnership with Mobilising for Rights Associates (MRA) based in Rabat, Morocco. MRA is an international non-profit women’s rights organization that works in Morocco, Tunisia and Libya. MRA (“woman” in Arabic) collaborates with local women’s rights activists and associations to contribute to changes in laws, structures, relationships and cultural norms to promote women’s full enjoyment of their human rights. We are always honored to work with MRA’s leaders, Stephanie Willman Bordat and Saida Kouzzi, towards our common vision of equality and freedom from violence for women and girls.
In May, GRW staff, Cheryl Thomas and Melissa Scaia, along with Global Rights for Women expert Lori Flohaug, partnered with MRA to train advocates and public sector officials in Marrakesh, Morocco. The training focused on an improved legal and community system response to violence against women, and enhancing the skills of advocates to track and monitor the state response to violence against women. This training was a follow-up to a previous workshop that GRW conducted with MRA in 2015, when we worked with advocates from rural communities to develop protocols for monitoring the state response to violence against women.
The situation for victims of violence in Morocco is dire, with widespread impunity for violent men. After more than a decade of advocacy by Moroccan women’s rights organizations, the Moroccan parliament adopted a law on the Elimination of Violence against Women. The law went into effect in September 2018. The law criminalizes certain forms of violence against women, creating a protective order for victims in criminal cases. However, the law is primarily characterized by its many shortcomings. Most significant is the lack of a civil order for protection. In addition, the framework for providing protection for victims lacks funding and any role for NGOs and victim advocates.
The goal of MRA and its local partners is to document and track the implementation of this new law, paying close attention to whether the law truly serves to promote victim safety and offender accountability. Global Rights for Women is grateful to MRA for its exceptional leadership!