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Morocco to Change Rape Marriage Law


World  (tags: law, violence, women, world, society, safety, rights, culture, freedoms, family, ethics, humanrights, HumanRights, GoodNews, 'HUMANRIGHTS!', africa )

JL
- 698 days ago - aljazeera.com
Government plans to outlaw practice allowing rapists to avoid charges if they marry their victims.



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JL A. (276)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 4:28 pm
Morocco to change rape marriage law
Government plans to outlaw practice allowing rapists to avoid charges if they marry their victims.
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2013 00:16

The suicide of a teenager forced to marry her alleged rapist triggered protests and calls for legal reform [AP]

The Moroccan government has said it plans to change a law that allows rapists to avoid charges if they marry their victims.

The move comes nearly a year after 16-year-old girl committed suicide after being forced to marry her alleged rapist.

Women's rights activists on Tuesday welcomed Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid's announcement, but said it was only a first step in reforming a penal code that does not do enough to stop violence against women in this North African kingdom.

A paragraph in Article 475 of the penal code allows those convicted of "corruption" or "kidnapping" of a minor to go free if they marry their victim and the practice has been encouraged by judges to spare family shame.

Last March, 16-year-old Amina al-Filali poisoned herself to get out of an abusive marriage to a 23-year-old she said had raped her. Her parents and a judge had pushed through the marriage to protect the family honour.

The incident sparked an outcry in Morocco and calls for the law to be changed.

While the marriage age in Morocco is officially 18, judges routinely approve much younger unions.

"Changing this article is a good thing but it doesn't meet all of our demands," said Khadija Ryadi, president of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights. "The penal code has to be totally reformed because it contains many provisions that discriminate against women and doesn't protect women against violence."

She singled out in particular parts of the law that distinguish between "rape resulting in deflowering and just plain rape".

Conjugal rape

The new article proposed on Monday, for instance, gives a 10-year penalty for consensual sex following the corruption of a minor but doubles the sentence if the sex results in "deflowering".

Fouzia Assouli, president of the Democratic League for Women's Rights, echoed Ryadi's concerns, explaining that the code only penalises violence against women from a moral standpoint "and not because it is just violence".

"The law doesn't recognise certain forms of violence against women, such as conjugal rape, while it still penalises other normal behaviour like sex outside of marriage between adults," she added.

Recent government statistics reported that 50 percent of attacks against women occur within conjugal relations.

The Justice Ministry at the time argued that al-Filali had not been raped and that the sex, which took place when she was 15, had been consensual. The prime minister later argued in front of parliament that the marriage provision in the article was, in any case, rarely used.

"In 550 cases of the corruption of minors between 2009 and 2010, only seven were married under Article 475 of the penal code, the rest were pursued by justice," Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane said in December.

While Morocco updated its family code in 2004, a comprehensive law combating violence against women has been languishing in parliament for the past eight years.

Social Development Minister Bassima Hakkaoui, the sole female minister in Cabinet, said in September she would try to get the law out of parliament and passed.
 

Mitchell D. (132)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 5:54 pm
From what I understand, and from how i see it, the law change is needed, of course, but it is only a first step. What is really needs, from this Westerner's perspective, is a cultural shift, away from the idea that a family is not dishonored if a member is raped, but, if any family HAS to be seen as dishonored, it is that of the rapist.
Better, still, would be the idea that neither family is dishonored, but that rape is seen for the violence it is, and rapists are actively sought out and punished.
 

JL A. (276)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 5:57 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Mitchell because you have done so within the last week.
 

Kit B. (276)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 7:41 pm

Marry the rapist? Now there is really stupid idea. Rape is a crime of violence not just in our culture but in any culture, even when dominated by male thinking. These people are far too focused on sex. I do hope they actively seek out the rapist and punish them.
 

JL A. (276)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 7:51 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week.
 

Marianne B. (113)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 8:43 pm
Really? This is so disturbing. An innocent 16 year is dead, and they're "considering" to change the laws? Why would anyone who was raped WANT to marry this or any pig who calls himself a man? Does the girl's family feel their honor has been "restored"?
 

JL A. (276)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 8:47 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Marianne because you have done so within the last week.
 

Ben Oscarsito (358)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 4:11 am
I agree with Kit, and Marianne; -Marry the rapist...???
To me this is absolutely incomprehensible - DAMMIT!!!
 

Ben Oscarsito (358)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 4:18 am
And, if I may add; -I am grateful for not being a woman in any of those freaking countries. I mean where boys are tought that women are'nt worth anything. That makes me furious!!!
 

Shanti S. (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 6:19 am
Thank you.
 

JL A. (276)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 6:22 am
Good points Ben.
You are welcome Shanti.
 

paul m. (93)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 6:28 am

Noted....
 

Nichole L. (68)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 6:52 am
I'm glad for the change in that revolting law. I agree with Mitchell in that a complete cultural change in that part of the world is truly needed. Sometimes I really believe that the Middle East is hopeless!
 

Lindsay Kemp (1)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 6:59 am
It's a good first step. It's not enough, and it's not soon enough, but it's a start, and it shows that, however slow, people's attitudes are beginning to change. At least, I hope so!
 

Ro H. (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 11:42 am
good start
 

Gabriele R. (29)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 12:12 pm
The shame and dishonour should go to the rapist and his family.My heart goes out for these poor women who not only had to endure this act of violence, but in most cases been made feel guilty that it happend.
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:13 pm
It's about time they stopped blaming the victim don't you think and put the onus and the penalty on the perpetrator? While they are at it they should punish anyone who performs a honor killing with severe measures. Let the punishment fit the crime.
 

Angelika R. (144)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:18 pm
Same trouble the world over--but good to see they at least have one female minister in cabinet-that's a start. and so is the intention of law changes, given THAT sort of society. Slowly but surely families will stop silencing every crime out of shame and fight for their rights. Thanks god they have helper groups there!
 

Dianna M. (16)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:22 pm
Well, they're certainly moving in the right direction, instead of blaming and punishing the victim, which is an idea many in this country have never lost, and seem to be openly advocating again.
 

JL A. (276)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 1:23 pm
Some great, compassionate comments everyone! Stars given where possible, but unfortunately:
You cannot currently send a star to Theodore because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last week.
 

. (0)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 3:21 pm
Great new, at least the laws are starting to catch up.
 

David Menard (43)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 3:46 pm
They may have changed the law yes.Will they enforce it ? I sincerely doubt it!
 

JL A. (276)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 3:47 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Hugh because you have done so within the last week.
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Ana Passos (2)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 5:08 pm
good
 

Edith B. (145)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:22 pm
This an encouraging step, but so much more needs to be done in cultures that devalue women and punish them when they have survived the violence of rape. Thanks, J.L. for posting.
 

Colleen L. (2)
Sunday January 27, 2013, 9:38 pm
That is absolutely crazy. No one on God's green Earth should have to marry any sick minded creature that has done this type of cruel act to them. Not that I like killing people, but the one who got raped should get to shot the Bast**d. Thanks J. L.
 

Parvez Zuberi (7)
Monday January 28, 2013, 12:39 am
Hope some sense will prevail and they will change the law to respect women in morocco
 

Mary Donnelly (47)
Monday January 28, 2013, 3:53 am
Thanks again J.L. A. Good post and comments. I agree with Kit.
 

Vivien Green (153)
Monday January 28, 2013, 4:21 am
Noted thank you J.L.
Only sadistic minds would have created the original law in the first place.
As said in a previous comment let us hope the enforce this new law.
 

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Monday January 28, 2013, 4:36 am
Africa seems to be the worst place in the world for women to be born in.
It takes a long time to come out of the dark ages. Morocco is taking a baby step.
 

JL A. (276)
Monday January 28, 2013, 6:11 am
You cannot currently send a star to Parvez because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Mary because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Vivien because you have done so within the last week.
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Lynne Buckley (0)
Monday January 28, 2013, 10:42 am
About time.
 

JL A. (276)
Monday January 28, 2013, 1:02 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Lynne because you have done so within the last week.
 

Charlie Rush (67)
Monday January 28, 2013, 10:23 pm
It never ceases to amaze me, what women will permit men, to get away with.
My apology to the intelligent, caring men on Care2. You realize, I am speaking about you.

Don't you have to wonder, what century some countries are currently living in? The one thing women have going for them, in today's world, is the internet. They have finally, been able to see how the rest of the world lives.

For those 'gods' among you, just remember one thing ~ There just as many goddesses.
 

Charlie Rush (67)
Monday January 28, 2013, 10:27 pm
Sorry - Second sentence........
I am NOT speaking about you.
 

JL A. (276)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 9:22 am
You cannot currently send a star to Charlene because you have done so within the last week.
 

Melania Padilla (185)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 12:26 pm
If it is true, good for women!!! So sick of abuses to women!!!
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (283)
Tuesday February 12, 2013, 2:22 pm
as If any woman would want to marry her rapist
 

JL A. (276)
Tuesday February 12, 2013, 5:20 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Rose because you have done so within the last week.
 
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