One hundred years after March 8th was proclaimed International Women’s Day, the day remains a symbol for women all over the world, of all different nationalities, ethnicities, religions and ages. United through their struggles for a dignified life without violence or discrimination, millions of women around the world have seen their lives change for the better. Others continue to hope that March 8th will bring them peace and security, access to education, health services, and a recognition of their rights.
Arab-Muslim women, in all of their diverse situations, continue, in varying degrees, to be considered second-class citizens. In certain countries, they are under the controlling hand of Muslim extremists, who subjugate them in the name of Islam. In others, a medieval patriarchy imposes discrimination and violence upon them.
A simple survey of human development indicators shows clearly the strong correlation between the economic and social development of a country and the situation of its women. In fact, the status of women and their living conditions is one of the most important driving forces for ameliorating a country’s society and development. It is also a strong indicator of the state of a country’s democracy, of the society’s collective and individual liberties, and of its respect for fundamental human rights.
This is true for all countries, including our own. If tangible progress had occurred in Morocco during the last decade, we would no longer live by the same societal and cultural code as our ancestors. If we do not progress, our country and our culture will begin to erode. There is still much to do so that Moroccan women can live with dignity in both their familial and public lives on an equal footing with Moroccan men.
This is the only condition which keeps Morocco from realizing its dreams in human, social, and democratic development, the fulfillment of which our political representatives keep saying is their dearest wish.
Association démocratique des Femmes du Maroc
8 mars 2010
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