Legal Empowerment of Unwed Mothers: Experiences of Moroccan NGOs
This paper by Stephanie Willman Bordat and Saida Kouzzi is part of the IDLO book series Lessons Learned: Narrative Accounts of Legal Reform in Developing and Transition Countries. The term “unwed mother” is used here to refer to women who have children outside the framework of legal marriage. They and their children – defined by law as “illegitimate” – are among the most legally and socially marginalized people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, not just in Morocco.
Unwed mothers and their children are not legally recognized because they lack the legal identity necessary to assert a host of other fundamental rights; at best, neither officially exists; at worst, unwed mothers can be and often are criminally prosecuted for having had sexual relations outside of marriage. This legal invisibility combined with social taboos result in a complete absence of any reliable statistics on numbers of unwed mothers and their children in Morocco, with the few available sources conveying primarily sensationalist and anecdotal information. One article claims that in 2003 in Casablanca, there were 5,000 unwed mothers, although this is clearly underestimated given the current Moroccan administrative and social context.
Full document is attached
- Should India review Muslim divorce law?
- Saudi Arabia: Moms visiting clinics seeking male children
- Protect Sri Lankan Muslim Journalist Sharmila Seyyid Who Supports Sex Workers’ Rights: Muslim Civil Society
- North Africa: Racism, sexism and violence against sub-Saharan African migrant women
- Niger: 'Wahaya': Young girls sold into slavery
- Egypt: Judicial harassment of Ms. Azza Soliman
- Over 220 Global Organizations Call for Immediate Release of Seven Imprisoned Women Human Rights Defenders in Egypt
- URGENT: Join the international campaign against Egypt’s repressive protest law!
- On May 28, International Day of Action for Women’s Health, Women’s Rights Defenders Mobilize Worldwide Calling for the Inclusion of Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
- URGENT ACTION NEEDED: INNOCENT SUDANESE MOTHER WILL FACE PUBLIC FLOGGING AND EXECUTION, SIHA CONDEMNS TODAY'S RULING IN HAJ YOUSIF COURT IN KHARTOUM
- Shirkat Gah Newsheet March 2015
- Influences of Religious Fundamentalism on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women
- Disposable Victims: Laws and Practices on Gender-related Killings of Women and Girls in the Islamic Republic of Iran
- Reclaiming and Redefining Rights: ICPD+20: Status of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Middle East and North Africa
- Substantive Equality and Reproductive Rights: A Briefing Paper on Aligning Development Goals with Human Rights Obligations