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Promoting Women’s ParticipationHAF’s Legal Clinic

By Soufiane Mouhssine, PhD student and Legal Aid Assistant at Fes Legal Clinic

Imagine" workshop with rural women and members of cooperatives in Sefrou, June 2021

In Morocco, women face a vast array of challenges tBeyond the picturesque facade of Morocco lies a profound and neglected reality, where women live in the shadows of society, burdened by hardship, forgotten, and rendered invisible. In this blog, we embark on a journey into the heart of this hidden Morocco to uncover the daily struggles faced by its resilient women. We delve into a marginalized Morocco, where women endure obscurity, adversity, and neglect, shedding light on a society that operates at two different speeds, where rhetoric clashes with a starkly different reality.

Partnership for Change:

This expedition into the depths of Morocco's social fabric is made possible through a unique partnership between the Legal Clinic of Law in Fes, established by the High Atlas Foundation, and the publishing house En Toute Lettre. The latter has provided multiple training sessions to student clinicians, delving into diverse subjects such as investigative journalism and critical thinking while encouraging reading and debating journalistic books on various topics. This collaboration empowers these students to develop their skills, gain deeper insights into social issues, and strengthen their commitment to addressing the challenges faced by marginalized women in Morocco. Equipped with these enriching training sessions, they are better prepared to advocate for women's rights and foster a more equitable and inclusive society.

Exposing the Hidden Realities:

Through this training, our eyes are opened to our own ignorance regarding the problems and precariousness experienced by working women. We witness the arduous struggles, relentless toil, and exhaustion endured by these women at the bottom rungs of the social ladder. Their lives resemble Greek tragedies, their destinies marked by erasure, disappearance, and the condemnation to invisibility. They are victims of deliberate societal negligence that ignores, excludes, and relegates them to the margins of our cities.

The books we have read, the result of years of fieldwork, investigation, and journalistic endeavors, immerse us in the daily lives of these women. Through poignant narratives, they shed light on societal problems such as early and customary marriages, poverty, isolation, educational deprivation, and territorial and social disparities affecting Morocco.

Through these training sessions, women who have long been forgotten and erased from the social landscape regain their existence, dignity, and their silent suffering is finally brought to light. The books we have read pay a heartfelt tribute to these oppressed women who have lived in the shadows, adversity, and pain, and who find in these pages a powerful testimony of their existence.

Unfortunately, these women's individual experiences and invisible sufferings are willfully disregarded in Morocco. The majority of their hardships remain unseen due to an "empathy gap" that separates their realities from ours and from those who have the power to improve their conditions. Their sufferings are simply ignored, rendering them invisible to those who could alleviate their plight. This gap reflects a societal insensitivity and a failure to empathize with the experiences of others.

Reviving Voices, Inspiring Change:

By adopting this investigative and empathetic approach, we bridge this gap, denounce social silence, and restore voices to those who have been silenced. Ultimately, this initiative aims to raise awareness and catalyze action from public authorities. It seeks to alert public opinion and compel the state to respond. Combatting invisibility is of paramount importance, as recognizing these women means combating the very roots of their marginalization.

Unveiling the hidden realities and empowering the marginalized women of Morocco is a collective responsibility. Through empathy, understanding, and meaningful action, we can bridge the gaps and create lasting change. Let us stand in solidarity, breaking the chains of invisibility, and building a brighter future for all.

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