Knowledge Note

In 2004, the Government of Morocco (GoM) made major amendments to its family code, known as the Moudawana, which covers personal status issues such as marriage, divorce, alimony, child support, child custody, and inheritance. These reforms increased the rights of women within the family, and should boost women s agency beyond family matters, for example increasing control of economic assets. The revisions followed a process of relatively open public debate with much of the discussion driven by women's civil society organizations (CSOs). It does suggest that women have made gains in determining who to marry, and are more able to access to divorce without renouncing their financial assets. On many other key issues, such as the use of stipulations in marriage contracts to increase women's decision-making within marriage and control of economic assets, as well as the extent to which community property regimes have been adopted by married couples, the lack of data prevents effective measurement of progress. Plans of the Ministry of Justice and Liberty to measure implementation of the Moudawana linked with the charter for the reform of the judicial system will hopefully provide the GoM a useful tool in ensuring further narrowing of gender equality gaps.

About the Presenters

Paul Prettitore