Winning women’s rights in Morocco: cultural adaptations and Islamic family law


This chapter highlights the efforts of the Moroccan women’s movement that contributed to the 2004 legislative reform of the Moudawana (Personal Status Code), or Islamic family law. It focuses on the advocacy and lobbying strategies of a particular progressive feminist human rights non-governmental organization (NGO) in Morocco, the Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM, Moroccan Women’s Democratic Association) and its alliances. This case provides an overview of the movement strategies developed and deployed during the 1990s and early 2000s. The campaign to reform the Moudawana took place in a contentious political context with a strong opposition, stemming from the organizing efforts of religious conservative and Islamist groups. The conservative social and institutional context also presented challenges to the women’s rights activists’ legal reform efforts and their goals of achieving equal status in the family. Despite the constraining context, progressive women’s rights activists were able to mobilize culturally resonant discourses and strategies to obtain support for legal reform.

Owing to copyright restrictions, only the first 3 pages are attached, together with a link to the book at Zed Books.


Pittman, A.; Naciri, R. Winning women’s rights in Morocco: cultural adaptations and Islamic family law. In: Citizen Action and National Policy Reform: Making Change Happen. J. Gaventa and R. McGee (Eds.). Zed Books, London, UK (2010) ISBN 9781848133853 (Hardback)

Published 1 January 2010