Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good news from Moroccan women

The new 18-member Moroccan Consultative Commission for the Constitutional Reform includes five women - better than Egypt, but not as advanced as Morocco.There are no women on Egypt's constitutional committee that created its recent reforms.The transitional government in Tunisia has agreed on Gender parity for the National Assembly that will draft the country’s new constitution.

The Feminist Spring for Equality and Democracy coalition - comprising women’s rights groups in Morocco - presented demands to the new Morocco Consultative Commission. Three key demands are:

•The primacy of international conventions such as CEDAW over national laws
•Equality in civil rights between men and women
•Institutionalization of affirmative mechanisms for women’s substantive equality

The Feminist Spring for Equality and Democracy coalition have called upon women’s supporters worldwide to sign a letter of endorsement. In addition the Moroccan Minister of Women’s Affairs, Nouzha Skalli, has announced the Moroccan government will ratify the CEDAW Optional Protocol. The optional protocol includes an inquiry procedure, as well as a complaints procedure. An inquiry procedure enables the CEDAW Committee to conduct inquiries into serious and systematic abuses of women's human rights in countries that become States parties to the Optional Protocol. It is modelled on an existing human rights inquiry procedure, article 20 of the International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

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