CEDAW: HarmonizationNow welcomes Morocco's decision but expresses its reservations

The ADFM association, and the Associative dynamics #HarmonizationNow, reacted to Morocco’s deposit of the instruments of accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women with the Secretary General of the United Nations. Their answer is half fig half grape.

For the collective, this deposit (dating from April 22) from Morocco is a “late response to the numerous questions from the women’s movement which has been calling for several years for the lifting of Morocco’s reservations” to the Convention and accession to its Optional Protocol. .

Morocco’s decision comes a few days before Morocco’s 5th and 6th reports by the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on June 21, 2022.

Morocco had already acceded to the optional protocol to the CEDAW Convention and published it in the Official Bulletin of August 17, 2015, but it has just deposited the instruments of accession.

The protocol is an essential tool for strengthening the defense of women’s rights and dealing with the individual and collective violations that affect them, says a press release from the Adfm. Adding that its added value is indisputable in that it allows the CEDAW Committee to receive complaints relating to a violation of one of the rights set out in the Convention, by individuals or groups or their representatives, and to rule on their subject in cooperation with the State party to the Protocol and the Convention, after having exhausted all recourse to national institutions and bodies.

The dynamic “Harmonization Now” says it has learned with satisfaction of Morocco’s decision, which it welcomes, despite the fact that it has not yet “withdrawn its interpretative declarations on key provisions of the Convention”.

This decision is a step forward both for the rights of Moroccan women and for Morocco, which reaffirms its commitment to the treaty bodies and special procedures of the UN, indicates the press release from the collective.

Nevertheless, “Harmonization Now” calls on the Moroccan government to lift its interpretative declarations on the fourth paragraph of article 15 and the second paragraph of article 2 and to harmonize national laws with the provisions and the spirit of the Convention through the establishment of legal, institutional and regulatory measures and procedures.

Photo Mounir Mehimdate

He cites in particular, large-scale information and awareness-raising around the Optional Protocol of CEDAW and related procedures, the operationalization of relevant public policies by guaranteeing them all the conditions for success.

It further calls for the reform of “discriminatory laws that affect women’s rights in the private public space, including the Family Code, the Penal Code and criminal procedure”, as well as the establishment of special procedures for women’s complaints in order to facilitate their access to justice without gender discrimination.

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