Oppression and Injustice for Women in the Maghreb

Faculty Mentor(s)

Professor Isabelle Chapuis-Alvarez, Hope College

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Women over the centuries and around the world have suffered for a variety of reasons. In the Maghreb region, or North Africa, women continue to suffer, as no formal recognition of equality between the sexes exists. This research investigates the condition of Algerian and Moroccan women in particular. It includes the testimony of a divorced Algerian woman who has been shunned and fears for her safety in her own home. The condition of Moroccan women, however; greatly improved in comparison to other Maghreb countries due in large part to the social reforms of King Mohammed VI. Education is more accessible for these women, thus increasing the literacy rate and decreasing the unemployment rate. King Mohammed VI’s reform included the adoption of the “nouveau code de la famille” in 2004, which addresses the concepts of “co-responsibility,” divorce, and polygamy. Injustices persist mainly because of the mentalities of men in the Maghreb. Without changing the mindset of these men, who for years have held control and power, injustices against women will not cease.

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