After advocacy by women's movement, Morocco makes major reform to rape law
Following significant advocacy by WLP Morocco/ADFM and other Moroccan women’s rights organizations, on January 8, 2014, the Moroccan Parliament finally adopted the draft law to amend article 475 of the Criminal /penal Code, which allowed rapists to escape prosecution if they married their victim. This article has mainly been used to justify the traditional practice of pressuring the victim to marry her rapist in the name of “preserving the honor of the girl’s family.” This new amendment removes the second paragraph of the article, lifting the immunity of the rapist and preventing him from marrying his victim. Momentum for the reform increased exponentially following then 2012 tragic death of 16-year-old Amina Filali –authorities believe she was either murdered by her rapists’ family or committed suicide–after being forced to marry her rapist. The bill to amend Article 475 was proposed by the Socialist Group in the parliament.
The day before the Bill was to be debated in parliament, the Spring of Dignity Coalition, which includes ADFM, sent a letter to all members of parliament to stress the demands of the feminist movement concerning this amendment, urging for the movements’ appeals to be considered during the Bill’s deliberations. This long-overdue reform marks a significant step for the women of Morocco and a great achievement for the country’s women’s movement, including ADFM.
The Spring for Dignity Coalition's December 13, 2013 protest against gender-based violence in Rabat.