Promoting a Violence against Women Law in Morocco
Our comprehensive work to address violence against women includes grassroots level human and legal rights education and mobilization, individual legal accompaniment services, and legislative advocacy to ministry officials and parliamentarians. This on-going engagement with both women victims and public actors places our partners in an ideal position to monitor and document the State response to violence against women.
In this phase of our initiative to promote a violence against women law in Morocco, we will monitor key public services, including the health care, law enforcement, and justice systems, and plot trends in their treatment of and outcomes in violence against women cases. We will collaborate with local NGOs across the country to collect, record, organize and analyze information from courts, hospitals and police to identify tendencies and systemic problems in the current response to violence against women.
Our monitoring and documentation initiative will reinforce advocacy efforts for a violence against women law in Morocco by demonstrating the need for legal reforms, increasing pressure on the government, and highlighting specific proposals to remedy current deficiencies in the state response to such violence. Additionally, this work will allow us to establish, in advance, the NGO systems and frameworks necessary for the future to effectively and immediately monitor implementation of the anticipated VAW law.
As additional countries in the region also begin to draft and enact violence against women laws, in this next phase of our work we will share our eight years of experience doing grassroots level legislative advocacy for such a law in Morocco through collaboration and technical assistance with partners in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.
Online Database Observatory of Domestic Court Decisions in Women’s Rights Cases
Through our http://www.marsadnissa.ma/ initiative, we implement an online database observatory of domestic court decisions in women’s rights cases. The website is designed as a dynamic, practical tool for human rights research, monitoring and advocacy for local NGOs, lawyers, judges, policymakers, researchers, activists, and others concerned with women’s rights in the justice system.
We collaborate with local NGOs, lawyers and justice system actors in diverse regions across Morocco to collect, code and analyze diverse local court decisions at all levels related to women’s rights; make the court decisions and data publicly available on the interactive, online database with a multi-criteria search engine; analyze the court decisions from a human rights approach, based on compliance with Constitutional and international standards; and provide concrete examples and model templates of the best human rights–founded legal arguments and court decisions to be shared and used by lawyers and judges around the country.
This initiative is enhanced through trainings with our partners on gender analysis, women’s human rights, and judicial stereotyping, as well as the elaboration and publication of annual reports on women’s rights in the justice system. Currently implemented in Morocco, we plan to expand this online database initiative to include other countries in the Maghreb.
Assessing Impact in Women’s Rights Programs
We collaborate with local NGOs to implement participatory and innovative evaluations of their on-going women’s rights programs, by developing and sharing frameworks and practical tools for identifying, capturing and analyzing the progress, outcomes, successes, and changes resulting from their work. Rigorous yet validating and affirming monitoring and assessment tools help local NGOs to better understand their successes to date, and to develop even more effective future strategies for change. Additionally, we strengthen our partners’ skills in participatory monitoring and evaluation methodologies to involve their communities in the assessment process. This initiative includes formal trainings, as well as the development and wide distribution of practical guides to program evaluation frameworks and methodologies.
Morocco (as well as Tunisia and Libya) has several pending submissions and upcoming review sessions in front of United Nations human rights monitoring bodies. These include the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Committee against Torture, and the Human Rights Council.
We collaborate with our networks of local partners to prepare and submit joint reports on the status of women to international human rights bodies. Our work includes formal trainings on writing NGO shadow reports, as well as practical field experience conducting participatory action research in their communities to gather data and information to include in the reports.
This is followed up by direct advocacy to human rights bodies during the actual country reviews. Through a combination of on-site training and hands-on learning, our missions to the United Nations provide intensive and hands-on training experience in international advocacy for our local partner NGOs. This initiative helps make local voices heard at the international level and reinforces our on-going local campaigns to promote women’s rights.