I am pleased to present Morocco's report to the CEDAW Expert Committee. Eleven years after having presented a parallel report to Morocco's initial report on behalf of NGOs. Back then, the promotion of women's rights seemed to us to be quite an arduous task. Women's rights were simply ignored .
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1. Implementing CEDAW Third and Fourth Periodic Reports Presented by
Mrs. Nouzha SKALLI
Minister for Social Development,
the Family and Solidarity
2. I am pleased to present Morocco’s report to the CEDAW Expert Committee Eleven years after having presented a parallel report to Morocco’s initial report on behalf of NGOs
4. Women's rights were simply ignored The personal status law maintained women under guardianship
Women’s representation was almost non-existent
0.34 percent in communes
0.66 percent in Parliament, and
no woman ever held a ministerial position, was Secretary of State, or even Secretary-General, or president of a commune!
5. What about the situation today? In accordance with the provisions of article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, Morocco presents the 3rd and 4th periodic reports in a single document, in keeping with the recommendations made by the Committee during examination of the second periodic report (CEDAW/CMOR/2) at its 627th and 628th sessions on 15 July 2003 (CEDAW/C/SR 627 and 628).
The Moroccan Government noted with satisfaction the positive elements underlined by the Committee on the elimination of discrimination against women. It has taken into consideration the suggestions and recommendations made by the Committee (CEDAW/C/SR 627 and 628).
This report will shed light on what has been done in connection with the recommendations and concerns expressed by the Committee and will recall the measures taken with a view to implementing the Convention since the presentation of the second report.
6. Report Methodology
Participatory approach involving : Government officials who are here with us today, NGOs, international cooperation and United Nations’ Specialized Agencies.
Information and sensitization
Information and awareness raising sessions:
First public presentation in May 2006 before postponement of the examination date
Presentation to the members of the Houses of Parliament on 8 January 2008
Presentation, on 9 January 2008 in Rabat, to the NGOs which had prepared the parallel report
Presentation to the media and to public opinion on 18 January 2008 in Casablanca
7. Political context
Institutional reforms and political commitment
Governemental mechanism in charge of women’s conditions
CEDAW implementation status
Addressing the question of reservations
Legislative and political reforms
Institutionalization of gender-based approach
Challenges and perspectives
8. Political context Institutional reforms and political commitment
Governmental mechanism in charge of women’s conditions
9. Consolidation of Reforms : Human Rights and Women’s Rights Restructuring the Advisory Council on Human Rights (C.C.D.H) in accordance with the Treaty of Paris on national institutions
Justice and Reconciliation Commission (IER), with a gender-sensitive approach
Commitment to implement MDGs (2005 gender sensitive national Report)?
Initiating the process of lifting reservations and signing the optional protocols to conventions (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, CEDAW)
10. Launching the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH)? King Mohammed VI launched the National Initiative for Human Development on 18 may 2005
The initiative is designed to put an end to regional and gender disparities in terms of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR)?
Participatory approach and social mobilization at local level
11. Clear political commitment Appointment of 7 women ministers in the current cabinet - including 5 full ministers - for the first time in Morocco
Reaffirming, through the Government statement of policy on taking office, Morocco’s pledge to adopt an integrated, multisectoral plan for mainstreaming a gender perspective
Commitment by the government to fight all forms of discrimination and types of violence against women
Pledge to improve women’s representation in elected institutions in a bid to achieve parity
12. Governmental Mechanism in charge of Women’s Conditions The Ministry for Social Development, the Family and Solidarity is the institution in charge of promoting women’s conditions, supporting and enhancing their legal status, ensuring their full participation in development, and protecting them against various forms of violence and discrimination
The Ministry acts like a social hub involving the National Solidarity Agency, the Social Development Agency (ADS) and the National Institute for Social Action (INAS)?
13. III. Implementation Status of CEDAW Provisions and of Recommendations
1. Addressing reservations to CEDAW
2. Legislative and political reforms
Participation in political and public life
Institutionalizing a gender-sensitive approach
3. Economic and social rights
4. Fighting gender-based violence
14. 1- Addressing Reservations to CEDAW In March 2006, the Moroccan government expressed its intention to review the reservations it had entered during the Convention’s ratification, and to join the Optional Protocol to CEDAW.
The Inter-ministerial Commission on civil liberties and human rights was set up under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister; it tasked an inter-departmental technical committee with follow-up.
Some reservations and declarations have been withdrawn. Other reservations have been replaced with interpretative declarations.
Adherence to OP-CEDAW and question of reservation was examined in the last cabinet meeting, and steady progress has been made in terms of implementing procedures to join the protocol.
The following table indicates the progress made with respect to lifting the reservations
15. Initial Reservations and Declarations Entered by Morocco in 1993 Reservations :
Article 9 – paragraph 2
Article 15 - paragraph 4
16. Articles about which reservations have been lifted or for which a declaration has replaced a reservation
17. Articles for which reservations have been lifted or for which a reservation has been replaced by a declaration
18. Legislative Reforms and Policies since the Examination of the last report in July 2003 Many reforms were carried out and consolidated, new vast projects were started in the area of protection and promotion of human rights in general, and basic human rights for women and young girls, in particular.
Thanks to the dynamism and pugnacity of the movement for women's rights;
Thanks to the modernist vision and strong political will of His Majesty the King; and
Thanks also to the support of international partners, especially those of the United Nations system
19. 2- Legislative and Political Reforms Legislative reforms
Starting the integration of the gender perspective in public policies: gender-sensitive budgeting
Women’s access to decision-making positions
Struggle against gender-based violence
Education and gender equality
20. Legislative reforms New Family Law
Based on equality and shared responsibility
Abrogation of the guardianship obligation
Gender equality in terms of legal age for marriage, uniformly set at 18 years
Judicial divorce under legal supervision
Women now automatically gain access to divorce on grounds of « discord »
21. Protection for the wife and children in case of dispute Article 121: Provisional measures in case of litigation between
22. This major reform has been seen as a peaceful revolution benefiting women, children and gender equality in general
23. Following the Enforcement of the Family Law Mentalities and social practices do not change overnight
The law contributes to a change of attitudes
Conclusion: the era of arbitrary action against women is over! The path to negotiation is open.
24. Measures to accompany this important reform A participatory assessment is carried out each year by the Ministry of Justice
Training and a guide-book are at the disposal of judges
Family courts set up within tribunals
Women accede to the position of family court judges
25. Other Legislative Reforms
26. 2007 : Reform of the Nationality Act Article 6: Women may now pass on
their nationality of origin
to their children born to a
27. Pursuing Efforts to Consolidate Human Rights and Gender Equality The efforts made by Morocco to honour its international obligations are continuing in a bid to harmonize national legislation with the stipulations of international human rights instruments ratified by Morocco.
Various policies and sepcific measures are undertaken to combat discrimination against women.
However, one has to admit that although gender equality is clearly established in legal texts, a culture of discrimination against women still persists
28. Persisting Constraints and Challenges Mentalities and soci-cultural resistance attitudes still hinder the implementation of principles of equality and justice
Weak information among women, especially in rural settings
Inadequate infrastructure (family courts)?
Deficiencies in terms of support networks for women who are victims of violence
Inadequate information about, and sensitization to the culture of gender equality
Insufficient role of the media in combating stereotypes
29. Women’s Participation in Political and Public Life 2002 : Women accede to the House of Representatives through the national list : 10.8% of MPs
Appointment of women in various decision-making positions
Appointment in 2007 of 7 women in the current cabinet, a first in the country
However, no affirmative action measure has been institutionalized
30. Fighting Stereotypes and Promoting Education on Equality Guidelines of the National Education and Training Charter in 2002 : Measures undertaken by the Government:
Integration of gender equality and equal opportunity in the strategic framework of the education system
Education policy introduced the notion of equality in specifications for the preparation of textbooks
Setting up textbook review commissions in light of human rights principles.
Preparation of the Charter for improving the image of women through the media, and signature of the said Charter by all actors concerned in presence of the Prime Minister
31. Institutionalizing the Gender Perspective in Public Policies Gender-responsive budgeting
National strategy for equality and justice
32. Gender-responsive budgeting The planning, programming and gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) process started in December 2002
Enhancing budgetary performance: Generalizing the new, result-oriented budgetary approach
Public policy formulation, implementation and assessment take into account the differentiated interests of women, men, girls and boys
A guidebook on budgetary reform has ben prepared by the Finance Ministry in collaboration with UNIFEM, and has been placed at the disposal of MPs
For the third consecutive year, a gender report has been published by the Finance Ministry; it assesses the efficiency of public policies and the promotion of justice through budgetary allocations
33. National strategy for equality and justice Preparation of the national strategy for gender equality and justice through mainstreaming of the gender perspective in development programs and policies; adoption of the Strategy by the Moroccan Government on 19 may 2006.
34. Gender Institutionalization Production of gender-related statistics
Consolidation of gender focal points
Undertaking a gender analyse/audit at the level of three institutional departments and preparation of action plans for the implementation of the gender strategy:
Ministry for Social Development, the Family and Solidarity.
Ministry of Communication.
Ministry for the Modernization of Public Sectors
35. PERSPECTIVES : Institutionalization of Gender
Strengthen the Ministry’s role of coordination, stimulation and orientation
Develop an operational plan for the strategy
Set up a Higher Council for Women : We’ve already started thinking about this subject
Give impetus to the Gender Cooperation Committee set up in June 2007 with international partners with a view to harmonize equality-oriented actions, by referring to the gender strategy
36. Elimination of Violence Against Women
37. Fighting Violence Against Women Nationwide Helpline (Numéro vert national) (080008888) to service women victims of violence
Set up a standardized information system with different institutional stakeholders
A bill on the elimination of violence against women is on track
A tripartite steering committee : Ministries/NGOs/Experts currently working on the establishment of an National Observatory on violence against women
Expanding listening, legal and psychological counselling centres for women victims of violence by the Government and NGOs
Since 2005, reception units are being set up within courts of first instance for women victims of violence
Two reception units for women victims of violence at the university medical centres in Rabat and Casablanca
Designation of a gender focal point within the Judicial Police Directorate, under the authority of the General Directorate of National Security
38. First Nation wide Campaign in 1998.
40. Perspectives for the Elimination of Violence against Women A National Survey to improve knowledge on the prevalence of gender-based violence
Legislation : A bill on the elimination of violence against women on track
Amendment of discriminatory provisions contained in the penal code
Institutionalization of the National Observatory on violence against women
Home care centres to host women victims of violence
Care centres for abuse perpetrators
Territorialization of listening and reception facilities for women in partnership with different stakeholders
Dissemination of the culture of equality and raising awareness to thwart tolerance of violence against women
41. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Equality in education
The right to employment and work
Fighting child labour
Access to health care services
42. Education Net progress of schoolgirls enrolment between 1999 and 2005
At the preschooling level
Primary schooling: nationally, the rate of enrolled children has moved from 74,2% in 1999-2000 to 90,08% in 2005
95,69% of girls enrolled in urban areas and 84,25% in rural areas.
Junior and senior secondary enrolment: a forward-looking policy is carried out through building of ‘Dar attaliba’ (boarding houses for girls) everywhere in the country to fight school wastage among girls
However, shortages persist, namely:
School wastage rates
Urban/Rural and Girls/Boys disparities
43. The Right to Employment and Work Important legislative improvements
Significant progress has been recorded in the protection of women’s labour rights
Statement of policy on non-discrimination, namely gender-based discrimination, within the amended labour legislation
Some constraints are limiting the impact of such improvements
Gaps in current legislation (e.g. domestic labour)?
Difficulties and obstacles in enforcement
44. Fighting Child Labour Child labour has globally decreased thanks to raising awareness action carried out by a large number of stakeholders,
However, child labour is persisting, particularly among girls who are hired as domestic workers
These young girls are victims of economic exploitation and sometimes of sexual abuse and violence
45. Employment : Innovative Initiatives that Need to be engendered! Encouraging youths to create their own businesses,
Supporting training and integration of young university graduates in their active life,
Introducing new instruments for rationalizing the functioning of the job market and modernizing labour legislation
Such innovative initiatives need to be engendered so as to benefit girls and boys on an equal footing
46. Access to Health Care Services
In the area of reproductive health, several national programmes have been adopted
However, the rate of maternal mortality is still an alarming plague that needs to be urgently addressed!
48. Women’s conditions in Morocco: a half-empty or a half-full glass But this glass
is being filled
49. Challenges & Perspectives An action plan, based on an integrated equitable and egalitarian gender vision, is on the agenda and will be implemented through:
Institutionalizing equality and implementing forward-looking public policies in favour of equality
Pursuing mainstreaming of the gender perspective into policies and budgets
Continuing to lift reservations to the CEDAW Convention and acceding to its Optional Protocol
Pursuing legislative reforms so as to eliminate all forms of gender-based discrimination
Adopting specific provisional measures designed to achieve gender equity and reduce gaps between men and women in all areas and more particularly in political participation and decision making
Implementing actions aimed at promoting the culture of equality and combating stereotypes.