Legal Empowerment of Unwed Mothers: Experiences of Moroccan NGOs

Published: 1/Jan/2010
Source: International Development Law Organisation (IDLO)

This chapter examines Moroccan non-governmental organization (NGO) initiatives that promote the rights of unwed mothers with children born out of wedlock. Social stigmatization, criminal repression and legal discrimination marginalize these women and their children, and impact on their ability to obtain official identity papers. Without such legal identity, they cannot access a host of other fundamental rights, and legal empowerment can be impossible.

In focusing on child registration and Family Booklet procedures as they affect unwed mothers, this chapter argues that law and development initiatives should take into account complex, intimidating legal realities that disadvantaged populations such as these women and children face, including: existing laws that may not be applied in reality, that are discriminatory on their face, that are unclear and open to disparities in their interpretation or that are silent on an issue and thereby create legal voids.

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Themes: Discrimination, Gender, Birth Registration
Regions: Morocco
Year: 2010