Multiculturalism, Gender and Political Participation in Morocco

Diogenes 57 (1):46-57 (2010)
Abstract
The multiculturalism and multilingualism typical of Moroccan society not only act as a backdrop to women’s participation in the public and political arena, but also provide a grid to analyse it. Upper-class women, whose level of education contrasted with very widespread illiteracy among the female population, were responsible for the birth of the modern feminist movement in Morocco in the 1940s. The heirs to historical figures who were prominent in building the nation, they fired the starting gun for women’s emancipation. Moroccan women have struggled against colonialism and contributed to the progress of society. Their participation in politics is still limited mainly because of conservative ideas that stand in the way of their entry into political life. All in all women’s emancipation in Morocco has advanced since independence. Because of their fight women’s associations, and democratic forces in general, succeeded in bringing about reform of the Mudawana (family code) in 2004. However the choice between modernity and tradition remains a big challenge
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