December 31st, 2008, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Washington DC
Likes (Received): 60
Moroccan women emigrants hold first conference
The first assembly of Moroccan women emigrants recommended improving education and access to the family code.
The first assembly of Moroccan women emigrants, organised by the Moroccan Community Overseas Council (MCOC), was held Friday (December 19th) and Saturday (December 20th) in Marrakech.
According to Idriss El Yazami, president of the Moroccan Community Overseas Council, the objective of the meeting "is to assess the progress made in the domain of women's rights in Morocco and within Moroccan immigrant communities abroad, in addition to attempting to create partnerships between Moroccan women abroad and their counterparts living at home."
The two-day meeting included workshops on "Women’s Role in Change," "Women’s Role in Fighting Vulnerability," and "Women’s Status in Arts and Media."
The first workshop concluded that women are a major factor of change and need to be part of the political and economic arenas.
The second workshop touched on human rights and social and domestic violence. The third group addressed the issue of women in cinema, theatre and literature.
Attendees said the gathering was an opportunity to get to know one another and exchange experiences and ideas to better women's position at home and abroad.
Recommendations included improving education and access to the family code, enhancing the role of Moroccan women emigrants, and promoting professional training.
"Among the key challenges facing the Council at present is making use of all the ideas that were proposed in the assembly, investing in Moroccan human resources, as well as crystallizing programs of action and ongoing communication," El Yazami said.
Latifa Akharbach, Secretary of State to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, called for supporting the efforts of all activists working in women's and family affairs.
Family and Solidarity Minister Nozha Skelli described the meeting as "a historic encounter that offers an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas among members of the community abroad. This is an invaluable treasure to this nation."
Separately, the Intercontinental Platform for Moroccan Expatriates demanded that the MCOC be dissolved on the grounds of inefficiency and lack of representation. The head of the group, Jamal Eddine Ryane, said, "Moroccans worldwide unanimously agree that the named council has not contributed in closing the gap within the community."
Ryane also said that the Council "is quite rigid and dogmatic, and therefore can be considered as non-existent. It also wastes many funds fruitlessly." He added that his organisation has a "project that is going through free elections so as to create a council that would represent [Moroccan emigrants] by the end of the coming year at the most."
Mohammed Ameur, minister for the Moroccan community abroad, noted that Moroccan women immigrants constitute 50% of the overseas communities, and that they are present in political, economic, cultural and social arenas.
In an interview with a Moroccan TV channel, Ameur said that women's issues are a prime focus in the government plan of action to improve Moroccan migrants’ conditions abroad.
The assembly "is part of the national desire to highlight the rights of women, wherever they are," he added. "The event is thus a symbol of gender equality, which Morocco has been working on for the past two decades."