While Morocco women’s rights activists and organizations have long been seeking a comprehensive law to combat gender-based violence, the bill recently drafted by the Ministry of Solidarity, Family, Women and Social Development (bill 103.13, 2013) was far from what the women’s movement sought. Among the bill’s flaws, CSOs noted the lack of consultation with women’s organization, a lack of consistency in terms of approaches/mandates, the abandonment of the fundamentals of a gender approach, and the absence of a clear and comprehensive approach to fighting gender-based violence, including in regards to prevention, protection, prosecution, and support for survivors.
Given the bill’s many flaws, women’s rights organizations across the country, including WLP Morocco/ADFM, released a press statement on November 6 calling for: 1) the postponement of the bill’s adoption, pending revisions demonstrating coherence between its vision, approach, and mandates; and 2) an open dialogue and consultation process with Moroccan women’s rights organizations, given their significant experience and knowledge pertaining to these issues.
We are happy to announce that, thanks to the lobbying efforts of WLP Morocco/ADFM and other national women’s rights organizations, two days after the press release was circulated, the government announced that this flawed bill has been postponed. Furthermore, it was announced that a consultative ministerial commission will be charged with revision of the bill before an upcoming governmental meeting. As such, civil society now has the opportunity to lobby for their recommendations for a gender-based violence bill that is grounded in women’s rights and gender-justice.