Bipartisan Feminism Taking Hold in Morocco
A few weeks ago, my family and I traveled to several cities in Morocco. Throughout the trip, our male tour guides and translators expressed optimism for the rights of women in the nation. They told us that women were educated equally, and able to pursue careers as lawyers, business owners, bankers, or anything else. However, at the same time, none of these tour guides were women. Keeping women from the forefront in society creates a facade of near-perfect progress for the world to see.
According to the UN Human Rights Council, there have been gaps in enforcement and implementation of Morocco’s most recent advancements for women. The 2011 Constitution was updated to provide equality under the law for men and women, change the legal marriage age from 15 to 18, and allow women to get married without the approval of a male guardian. However, a forced marriage can still be permitted by a judicial waiver, and marital rape is left unrecognized. Additionally, current law only recognizes sexual assault in employer-employee situations, meaning women and men in public spaces are left unprotected.
While in the last city of our Morocco trip, we encountered our first female executive, the manager of our hotel. Western in origin, she told us that the women in the hotel are culturally encouraged to work in the kitchen, while the men wait tables and carry suitcases. As a result, only men receive tips, and do not share them with the women. When women go home, they are still encouraged to give their earnings to a male guardian.
From the United States, feminists of both parties have played a role in helping the women of Morocco. Ivanka Trump visited Morocco last November to promote the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. This organization looks to help 50 million women worldwide gain economic independence. According to a White House report, the Moroccan government has agreed to revise laws to protect female landowners and give them access to communal lands.
Despite its continuing problems, Morocco is one of the more progressive nations in North Africa. Bipartisan feminism has served to ensure that regardless of which party is in power in the US, leaders will be attentive to the needs of women in the United States and abroad.
At the Bipartisan Feminist Project, we look to share the success stories of bipartisan feminists, so readers can understand the pressing nature of women’s issues, issues that should come before any party allegiance.