Morocco has made a step in the right direction.
While I would be the first to say that Morocco has a great deal further to go when it comes to women’s rights, progress is progress.
The Rape Marriage Law
The rap marriage law is horrific to say the least. This recent case from March of 2012 outlines it the best: A 16-year old girl was forced to marry the man who raped her in order “protect the family honor.” After seven months of marriage to the 23-year old rapist, the girl committed suicide.
This was finally the last straw for Morocco women as calls to change the law became louder and louder — despite many other countries in the Middle East, India and Afghanistan which practice this same tradition.
It Is Not Enough
Women rights activists “hailed the amendment,” but are not stopping with the rape marriage law as they continue to move forward in more legislation designed to combat violence against women.
- 9% of Moroccan women have been physically subjected to sexual violence at least once.
- 50% of violence against women takes place within marriage without recognizing “marital rape.”
The next step in Morocco’s fight for women’s rights is a bill proposed that threatens prison sentences of up to 25 years for perpetrators of violence towards women.
The question is, will the court system follow through with these types of penalties?