King Mohammed VI Wants Morocco’s Family Code Reviewed to Promote Women’s Rights
Royal Mandate for Family Code Revision
King Mohammed VI has issued a directive to the Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch, tasking him with overseeing the revision of Morocco’s family code. This significant decision underscores the King’s ongoing commitment to addressing family-related issues and promoting women’s rights in the country.
Emphasis on Islamic Law and Social Inclusion
The monarch’s instruction aligns with the royal decree he announced during the Throne Day speech in 2022, emphasizing his enduring dedication to family matters and the advancement of women’s rights. In the speech, King Mohammed VI stressed the importance of social inclusion within family law, emphasizing that all decisions and recommendations must adhere to Islamic Law (Sharia).
“As the Commander of the Faithful, I pointed out before Parliament in 2023, when introducing the Moudawana, or Family Law, that I shall not make licit that which the Almighty has forbidden, nor shall I forbid that which he has authorized, particularly when it comes to matters of government by unequivocal Quranic prescriptions,” stated the monarch in his speech.
Calls for Inheritance Law Reforms and Inclusive Approach
This directive follows persistent calls for reforms in Morocco’s inheritance laws, particularly from women’s rights advocates. A 2022 survey conducted by Morocco’s Asiatio of Moroccan Women for Research and Development in partnership with the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) revealed that around 34% of Moroccans support reforms to the country’s inheritance laws, while 44% are opposed to reconsidering the conservative inheritance laws.
The King’s letter to Akhannouch also outlines instructions for the comprehensive supervision of the reform process, emphasizing a collective and inclusive approach. Multiple institutions, including the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Judicial Council, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office, are urged to participate actively in the reform initiative. The royal letter also calls for the engagement of relevant bodies directly involved in the subject, such as the Supreme Scientific Council, the National Council for Human Rights, and the governmental authority responsible for solidarity, social integration, and family affairs.
Furthermore, the King emphasizes openness to civil society organizations, researchers, and experts in the revision process. He calls for the submission of draft recommendations based on consultations within six months, followed by the government’s preparation and submission of a draft law for parliamentary approval. This comprehensive approach seeks to ensure that the revision of Morocco’s family code aligns with the nation’s evolving social and legal landscape while safeguarding the principles of Islamic Law.
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