MRA Mobilising for Rights Associates has presented a comprehensive set of proposals seeking to reshape Morocco’s Family Law, with a primary goal of achieving gender equality across various facets of family life.
The organization’s memorandum addresses critical areas for reform, including equal legal guardianship, property and economic rights, access to divorce, polygamy, child marriage, rights for children born outside of wedlock, child support procedures, and the prevention of domestic violence.
Underpinning the need for change, MRA points to the persistent discrimination against women in custody and legal guardianship of their children as per the 2004 Family Code.
The memorandum calls for the repeal of provisions denying women equal legal guardianship, emphasizing the importance of joint legal guardianship even after divorce.
The memorandum called also for the amendment of article 231 to provide that both the father and mother exercise legal guardianship jointly over their minor children, including after divorce.
Economic and property rights disparities between men and women following marital breakdown are highlighted, with proposed amendments to Family Code Article 49 on marital property.
MRA suggests establishing equal rights in managing and distributing property post-divorce, offering couples a choice of specific marital property regimes (separate property, community property, or a hybrid regime), and making it mandatory to determine property management at the time of marriage.
MRA addressed discriminatory practices in divorce proceedings, advocating for the elimination of gender-based distinctions.
The proposed reforms include replacing multiple forms of divorce with three clear options: mutual consent, divorce due to harm suffered, and divorce based on irreconcilable differences.
MRA also calls for the abolition of polygamy.It challenges existing provisions allowing men to marry more than one woman simultaneously, proposing the repeal of Family Code articles 40-46 on polygamy.
The memorandum also addresses the issue of the marital guardian, advocating for the deletion of Article 13(3) mandating the presence of a matrimonial guardian since child marriage should be abolished altogether.
To eliminate child marriage, MRA proposed repealing Family Code articles 20, 21, and 22, which allow exceptions to the legal marriage age of 18.
The organization emphasized the need to eliminate discrimination against children born outside legal marriage, with proposed reforms establishing procedures for establishing paternity outside of legal marriage.
MRA highlighted deficiencies in the current child support system and proposes reforms to improve procedures for granting and executing financial allowances.
The proposed reform includes modifying article 168 by stipulating that the guardian and her children have the right to either remain in the family home, or be provided by the father accommodation of the same standard as the family home, or receive from the father a sum to pay the rental costs of accommodation of the same standard as the family home;
Addressing the alarming prevalence of violence against women in Morocco, MRA proposes measures to enhance protection for victims.
The organization suggests granting family judges the authority to issue protection orders immediately applicable in cases of violence committed within domestic relationships.