More than half of violence against women in Morocco is believed to occur within marriages. Hélio Dias (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Right activists hailed the amendment, while stressing that much more remained to be done to promote gender equality, outlaw child marriage and protect women from violence in the North African country.
“It’s a very important step. But it’s not enough…. We are campaigning for a complete overhaul of the penal code for women,” Fatima Maghnaoui, who heads a group supporting women victims of violence, told the AFP news agency.
Global advocacy group Avaaz said it had handed a petition signed by more than a million people to Morocco’s parliament demanding that the government adopt promised legislation to combat violence against women.
Amnesty International said Wednesday’s amendment was a step in the right direction but “long overdue,” and urged a comprehensive strategy to protect women and girls from violence in Morocco….
While the marriage age is officially 18 in Morocco, judges routinely approve much younger unions in the country.
Activists have called for a complete revamping of the country’s laws dealing with rape. However, in the case to the amendment of the existing article, only the language that stated the allowing of rapists to marry their victims to escape prosecution was deleted.