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The road to reform: Women's political voice in Morocco

Research report

Written by Helen Tilley

Research report

​This report examines women’s political mobilisation in Morocco and illustrates how excluded and adversely incorporated groups can achieve greater political voice, even in the face of considerable obstacles.

Morocco’s active and effective women’s movement originally attracted mostly urban-educated women but expanded during the 1990s. It broadened its appeal, drawing in both secular and Islamist women, and lobbied for equality for women and girls in access to services, employment and political voice.

This has had an impact: women have acquired progressively greater presence in civil society and the formal political system, and they have become politically active in new ways.

This political engagement has enabled women to fight for their rights more effectively and has led to a series of institutional, legal and policy reforms that women elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with the exception of Tunisia, have not been able to achieve. The campaign to reform family law in particular has been held up as a model for women’s movements across the region.

These reforms have, in turn, created further opportunities for women to exercise voice, both within formal politics and broader society.

Clare Castillejo and Helen Tilley