In most societies in the world, women are pertained to be inferior persons in the nation. It has been a struggle over the years with women trying to gain their rightful positions in the societies. Women and children had been grouped with the children in the same category. There has been a transformation in the rights and the roles of the women in Morocco over the years, and this can been contributed greatly by the advancement in technology and the increase in the literacy levels in the societies. However, due to development in the world, there has been a consideration with regard to the women. Activists have come out to advocate for equal rights between men and women in the society. Slowly, they have started gaining recognition in the society through the help of the humanitarians. In the pre Islamic days in Morocco, women were viewed as objects of reproduction whose main work was to reproduce and ensuring there is food security in the homes.
In the pre Islamic period, women in Morocco lived under unawareness where the men would everything they wanted it done. The women were living under the instructions of the men where they did not even dare to question the rules. They were of slaves in their own country rather than being the citizens they ought to have been. They had become objects since; they had no say in the society. Therefore, the women could not contribute to the development in the society since; they had been denied the chance by the beliefs and the men in general (Kelly, S., & Breslin, J. 2010). There was an element of slow growth due to the conflicting issues that that were not in agreement with each other. It was due to the sign of oppression but there was no agitation to fight the vice as they were living under ignorance. When the Islamic religion started in Morocco, a change in the women rights because; they were granted some civil liberties to enjoy.
However, Islam entrant into Morocco and women were granted some rights hence there was an element of improvement and advancement in terms of being flexible to suit best the changing times. The rights were limited since; they were only allowed to enjoy three rights. The women were given; the right to possess a business thereby; empowering entrepreneurship. Through entrepreneurship, the living standards in Morocco were also improved as there was creation of employment. The social evils in the society also declined due to the people becoming occupied with constructive minds. The second right was to be respected and honored as women. In the past, women would be disrespected by the men since they had no place in the society. The Islamic laws came to their defense as they were granted with the right to enjoy being women in the society as they were supposed to be accorded with the respect they deserved. The last right was the right to live (Charrad, M., 2001). They had to be protected from any danger and, they were not supposed to be exposed to the dangers of life that would lead to a stop in their lives. Their lives were not to be taken away as the men pleased.
Under the French leadership, there evolved some units where women were required to stay under. The women had no freedom of movement as there were restrictions. The women had to borrow permission from their men whenever there was a need for them to move out from the family units where they would be enclosed. The extended families would not also be left since; they too had to live under family units. There was an element of seclusion because; women would not interact with the men in the country. This was however, perceived as act of backwardness. There was much discrimination in the region and, this had a negative impact on the self-esteem of the women. It instilled fear and a sense of inferiority complex among the women since they would be dictated for everything they would undertake. The seclusion had reached a point where there would be gatekeepers at the gates to provide reinforcement against women moving out of the units without permission from the men.
The Moroccan women who were married were highly regarded as opposed to the divorced women. The married ones would be treated better as compared to those who were divorced. The men had failed to understand that men also contribute to the divorce. Women were perceived as housekeepers thus entitled with the task of maintaining the family. The action led to the oppression on women as some would be harassed and their rights infringed against but still remain in the house in order to protect their household names, and also retain their titles in the societies so as to be treated well. The element of divorce was perceived as a problem brought about by women who would not sustain the hardships that come about in the families, therefore, treated with disrespect due to the failure to maintain their status as wives.
Women had the responsibility of conducting the household chores, engaging in the craft and embroidery work, and were also required to attend the schools that taught the Koran to be in a position to understand the teachings of the Koran thereby; not violating the rules. All these did not give the women the right to expand since; they were all tied to the same activities that they could not abandon (Smolin, J., 2013). There were no rooms for innovations and inventions, and this dragged the economic status of the country. the women were regarded as primitive because; they could not be given the hard tasks due to the mentality that they were inferior thus could not perform to the men’s expectations.
After gaining their independence from the France, women had the opportunity to enjoy other rights that had withdrawn away from them. Women were entitled to more rights that included; right to education where they started attending schools so as to gain the knowledge that their male counterparts were enjoying. They would be subjected to the same education system with the males thus, encouraging them by showing them that they possessed the brain capacity as the males. Women who were divorced from their husbands could not be discriminated against because; the rights to divorce were granted. If a woman happened to demand for the custody of the child, it would be granted to them if they had the capacity to meet the basic needs of the children. The women started also to own property as they were approved of inheriting property from the family members. It was considered as an improvement in the lives of women as the discrimination rates had reduced. Their lives became better as compared to the past. They had started to be recognized in the societies something that encouraged them to press on in the lives. They had been incorporated in the society and this improved their confidence and morale.
Nonetheless, before the inception of the Islam religion in Morocco, it was faced with a lot of challenges. There was mixed reaction from citizens. Some women very much opposed the introduction of the Islamic religion in the country thus ended up fighting with all their might. One woman who was very vocal in the opposition of the Islamic religion was a military leader. She was against the expansion of the Arab and Islam religion in Morocco. Other women together with the military woman leader formed an opposition group to join efforts in trying to fight against the influence of the Islam and Arab (Landis, D., & Albert, R., 2012). Through the opposition, they showed that women had a place in the society and also that they had the same capacity to think what should be introduced into the society and which should be rejected. all the elements shown by the opposition were that women were aware of their rights although they were being denied.
After the exit of the French, women took part in setting up of institutions and also in their establishment. It showed that had they been deprived the chance to contribute in the development of the country. During the era of colonialism, some women joined hands to fight colonialism. They formed part of the history in Morocco where they joined hands to fight colonialism even when the country had no place for women in the societies. In the process, they were able to display the identity of women who were highly disvalued in their country. There were formations of armed resistance from most women as the underprivileged joined in while the better women in terms of economic status became vocal in the politics. It helped to empower women to enjoy their rights and also provision of education that enabled them became aware of the freedoms they ought to enjoy.
After independence, many women would not go unnoticed due to their contributions in the country. Because women would go to school, they gained the knowledge thus eradicating illiteracy. One woman also went ahead to publish a literature book. Those who embraced the artistic nature spread, and became known even in the international markets due to the popularity they had gained regionally. Some women opted to go for politics son as to represent the inferior group that was highly disregarded in the society (Howe, M., 2005). Using their positions they were able to fight the equality between the men and the women in the society. They knew better the plights of the women since they could have gone through them, therefore, able to press hard for their recognition in the society. Their positions contributed to the decline of the women discrimination in Morocco, and the men stopped seeing them as reproductive objects and regarded them as developers.
However, it has been noted that the percentage of women representation in the government is very low. With regard to strengthening their unity in the communities, women came together to form humanitarian groups that are able to fight for the place of women through collective bargaining. It is said that two heads are better than one and that unity is strength. The saying worked well for the Moroccan women as they gave them morale to fight for their rights. Women were also able to fight against girls being forcefully married and restrictive measures were put as a process of discouraging the men who wanted to marry many wives. Women gained a voice in making the decision in who they wanted to marry. It eradicated the barbaric acts by the Moroccan men of disregarding women.
The marriage age for girls’ was increased since; they girls’ would be married off at a very young age. They would be given time to advance themselves in terms of education. However, after a girl attained the legal age for marriage, the men had the permission to marry them. It also gave them time to mature more, and this put them in a better position in order to handle marriage issues and the upbringing of children. Women were also able to inherit properties on equal rights as the male counter parts (Baker, A., 1998). . It proved that both men and women were equal before the law. Women would also go to the courts for divorce cases and their cases would be heard and addressed without favor and discrimination. All these worked for the best of the women in the Morocco. The reduction of women discrimination in the societies led to peaceful coexistence among the people since; the conflicts reduced due to the women incorporation into the development activities in the nation. The social status of the country was enhanced in the process of implementing the equality measures.
The roles of Moroccan women in the society varied depending on the economic status of the households. Women from the poor households engaged more in their provision roles. The women would engage into farming activities so as to be able to sustain the families. On the other hand, women from the rich households would restrain from farming as they viewed this as an activity of the poor people. The rich women preferred to stay indoors as it also proved that they respected what their men would dictate upon them. With the introduction of the Islamic religion in Morocco, it came with values and beliefs that women were not to engage in the farming activities as they perceived it to lower the social status of the family.
The engagement into the agriculture was reflected to be a belittling and reprehensible activity. Therefore, the women ended up preferred to remain indoors to avoid being the point of discussion in the society. The older women had the role to direct and supervise the younger ones. They instilled a sense of responsibility in the girls preparing them for their own role in the marriage life. The women from the high social economic standards were highly valued in the society. Most stable women were the ones who assumed the role of leadership in the country as they were perceived to be more knowledgeable than the rest. The poor women would be locked out in the development decisions since were assumed to lack the knowledge rendering them to being termed as incapable. This attitude also contributed to the issue of discrimination since; the women discriminated each other against themselves.
The women who had been lucky enough to secure a job in the market did it with the consent of their husbands. The men were the decision makers in the homestead, therefore, had to take part in everything going on in the homestead. It was highly contributed by the high illiteracy levels in the society. The women embraced the traditional roles that hindered them from following their passion due to the element of dictatorship by men (Sadiqi, F., 2003). The women were entitled to cook for the men and at the same time take care of their children without the men offering a helping hand in the chores. They ended up being overworked which was against the modern laws and beliefs.
Nevertheless, after independence women have acquired some roles in the societies that helped them feel appreciated in the country. They felt that their efforts had started being recognized, and this gave them morale to work harder and smarter. The work environments have become conducive for women since; they were granted some freedoms and rights to enjoy. They also had a role of bringing up their children in a way that showed they were all equal. As a result, the current generation of the young adults is behaving differently with regard to the perception of the place of women in Morocco. Before there was gender bias but nowadays, equality in both genders has been observed. Men had to stop viewing women as kitchen staff. Young people started to help their wives in the household chores. It also eased the tension that existed in the homes thereby; reducing the number of divorce cases in the country as men and women could help each other in the household chores.
Through the different work environments, many women were subjected to advancements and changes that led to the urge to incorporate them into their homes. At work place, there was socialization through interactions of different people from different ethnic communities that contributed to the exchange of ideas (Orlando, V., 2011). It reinforced their positions as women both at the work place and at home. The eradication of the traditional norms has been faced with many challenges since; some practices are too rigid to be changed. It has, conversely, dragged the evolution rate in the roles and rights of the Moroccan women. The little evolution that has already taken place should be embraced as through it, development is enhanced. It also shows that the country is responding to the changing times in the world hence showing an element of flexibility.
The government could adopt the norm to be comprised of many women as a way of neutralizing the number of men in the leadership role. The women in power are more vocal when it comes to airing the grievances of the women in the societies. This could be attributed to the positions they hold in the government. Those in power are more aware of their rights than the ordinary citizens. Women should be exposed to leadership positions to reduce the discrimination issue that lead to men being empowered against women. Formation of groups that advocate for the equality on all people should be established in the nation as way of showing solidarity among women. Education is very essential when it comes to eradication of discrimination and poverty. Incorporation of learned individuals in the job market should be highly exercised matching the skills of an individual with the job being assigned.
On the other hand, all the efforts to fight for the place of women in Morocco should never be overlooked. Women have been seen to contribute to the development of the country. Equal rights between men and women should be fought for to avoid the issue of conflict due to one group looking down upon another. Women were seen fighting for the independence of the country, thus must be given the place they deserve without the discrimination element. Women have the capacity the men have, therefore, should never be denied leadership roles due to the gender. Some women turn out to be better than some men as some might opt to engage in criminal activities (Bennouiss, F., 2001). Through the incorporation of women in the society, the social ties would be strengthened and the economic status of the country would also improve. The living standards of the citizens would also improve leading to the growth of a health nation.
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