Unwed Mothers in Morocco: studying the impact of the UN women's convention Open Access

Lambert, Jessica (2011)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/5h73pw561?locale=en
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Abstract

This thesis studies the changes in the lives of unwed mothers in Morocco since the ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1993. The CEDAW aims to protect marginalized groups of women everywhere, and in Morocco, one such group is unwed mothers. This case study evaluates the efficacy of the CEDAW by examining three aspects of the treaty: local methods of implementation, ways of measuring results, and enforcing change. Data have been collected from personal interviews with unwed mothers and scholars in Morocco, library research, published reports, and newspapers. This thesis challenges the notion that a treaty must be binding and prescriptive to be effective. Some think that the CEDAW is too broad to be applied everywhere, and not powerful enough to enforce implementation. This study finds that the CEDAW focuses on empowering local actors and NGOs to create meaningful and lasting change in ways that are culturally appropriate in their communities. By studying the experience of unwed mothers since the ratification of the CEDAW, other countries can learn from the difficulties Morocco faced in applying new laws, and can adopt successful methods of implementation.

Table of Contents

Methodology.......................................................................................... 1
Introduction............................................................................................ 3
Background............................................................................................ 6
CEDAW as an International Treaty........................................................ 8
Overview of CEDAW....................................................................... 13
Examination of CEDAW in Similar Countries................................. 32
Examining the CEDAW and Women in Morocco............................ 44
The Lives of Unwed Mothers................................................................ 51
Roles of NGOs in the Lives of Moroccan Women........................... 52
Legal Discrimination........................................................................ 57
Poor Implementation and Social Factors.......................................... 59
Defining CEDAW's Role in Changing Laws......................................... 76
CEDAW's Enforcement Methods..................................................... 76
CEDAW and the Mudawwana Reforms........................................... 79
Conclusion............................................................................................. 86
Bibliography.......................................................................................... 88

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