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The Moroccan Women’s Rights Movement

by Amy Young Evrard

Publication Year: 2014

Among various important efforts to address women’s issues in Morocco, a particular set of individuals and associations have formed around two specific goals: reforming the Moroccan Family Code and raising awareness of women’s rights. Evrard chronicles the history of the women’s rights movement, exploring the organizational structure, activities, and motivations with specific attention to questions of legal reform and family law. Employing ethnographic scrutiny, Evrard presents the stories of the individual women behind the movement and the challenges they faced. Given the vast reform of the Moroccan Family Code in 2004, and the emphasis on the role of women across the Middle East and North Africa today, this book makes a timely argument for the analysis of women’s rights as both global and local in origin, evolution, and application.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Front Flap, Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright, Dedication, About the Author

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pp. ix-xii

I have worked on this research project and book for ten years and am grateful to all those who have played a role in the process. The research was completed with support from Harvard University, the Fulbright Institute of International Education, the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS), the US Department of Education through its Foreign...

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pp. 1-49

The first passage, a brief excerpt from a report by a major women’s rights association in Morocco, shows how a variety of issues affecting women are channeled toward the goal of legal reform. This was written during a period of debate following the announcement in 1999 of the Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Development, and it reminds...

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1. Convncing Women

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pp. 50-101

Social movements are a messy affair. There are a variety of motivations that bring people into a movement, and a variety of techniques employed by associations and individuals that are sensitive to these motivations and help to attract potential new members. There are alliances that come together and break apart. There are squabbles and enmities...

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2. Obsitcles and Opportunities

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pp. 102-137

Now having a sense of the movement, and its members and goals, it is important to locate it within a wider context: the political and social fields in which it operates. Bourdieu (1984, [1992] 1996)1 employs the framework of semi-autonomous fields to show how human agency (enacted by individuals and by groups) works within structured fields of action. A group can...

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3. Vernacularizing Frames: “Equality” and “Women’s Human Rights”

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pp. 138-175

The next three chapters lay out the argument that the Moroccan women’s rights movement has attempted to link transnational feminist discourses with local realities and understandings of women’s place within the family and society. As described in chapter 1, women who are brought to the movement by a variety of motivations undergo a process...

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4. Framing Mudawwana Reform

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pp. 176-226

Reforming a legal code is not a simple, top-down process. The process of reforming the Mudawwana, as described earlier in the book, began in earnest in 1992, with the collection of signatures demanding that King Hassan II reform the Mudawwana. The next step in the process was the 1999 Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in...

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5. The Harmonious Family

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pp. 227-274

I am in a van with several women from one urban association on a “women’s rights caravan” into the country. Th is is a new kind of project for several associations, and clearly elicits the trope of journey from one world to another. From time to time I feel an elbow poking my ribs, and then the following: “Look, Amy, those women riding on a donkey!” or “Look, Amy, see...


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pp. 275-292


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pp. 293-300

Back Flap

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Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815652632
E-ISBN-10: 0815652631
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815633501
Print-ISBN-10: 0815633505

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2014