Throughout the world, Morocco is cited as an example of moderation and progressiveness in its attitudes and laws regarding women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. However, despite this perception, several Moroccan laws contain deep inequalities for women, which marginalize and stigmatize them. Single mothers are among those women who suffer from this marginalization. The term “Single Mother” refers to women who have children outside the framework of legal marriage; they and their children are defined by law as illegitimate. Hence, they are unprotected by law. In Morocco, and in most Arab countries, the issue of single mothers is still a taboo, however women’s organizations are working hard to challenge this stigmatization as well as to help these women gain their rights. Single mothers are considered as a source of trouble, shame and dishonor; therefore, they are totally rejected by society. Indeed, social stigmatization, criminal repression and legal discrimination marginalize these women and their children, and impact on their ability to live a normal life. In the scope of this presentation, I will be dealing with the issue of single mothers in Morocco; I will examine the Moroccan legal context surrounding unwed mothers as well as the NGO’s initiatives that protect the right of unwed mothers and their children in Morocco. I shall argue that even though these women are supported by the non-governmental organizations, they are still marginalized and not protected by law.
El Batoul Majbar, University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdelhah, Morocco
Stream: Social Sciences
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