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Gender Equality Policies Vital to End Discrimination Against Women in Morroco

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Independent United Nations human rights experts today called on Moroccan government to promote of gender equality through drafting new laws to tackle gaps in its legal framework which put women at a disadvantage.

The UN group also adds that domestic and migrant workers are at higher risk of having their rights violated.

"Gender equality must remain central in the complex process of political and social transformation in Morocco." - Kamala Chandrakirana and Emna Aouij, member of the UN group of experts

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Old woman in Khemisset Province, Morocco. UN Photo/John Isaac
The UN working group has been working on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice.

The group stresses that despite many competing priorities faced by the Government, the drafting of the law that will establish the authority for parity must start as soon as possible, involving all the relevant stakeholders.

On their eight-day visit to the country, the experts were able to gather information on Morocco's legal framework during their eight-day visit of the coutry. The group gathered information regarding the promotion of equality and elimination of sex-based discrimination, and identified remaining gaps in legal protection.

The experts notes that despite progress achieved through the adoption and reform of several laws, discriminatory provisions remain concerning marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance.

The experts cites that stakeholders have identified critical gaps in Morocco's legal protection, particularly for women victims of domestic violence, for women and girls employed as domestic workers, and for women migrant workers.

They calls on authorities to accelerate deliberations on bills regarding these populations.

The experts also called for the participation of women when carrying out reforms and for integration of an equal gender perspective into every aspect of the Government.

The group of experts underlines that poor and rural women need to be an integral part of the historic reforms the country is undergoing. The group says national programmes are crucial to integrate development and human rights and to secure participatory democracy at the local level, but have so far benefited women disproportionately less than men.

The group urges the Government to use all means at its disposal, including education and the media, to combat stereotypes and negative portrayal of women.

The experts visited Rabat, Casablanca, Fez and the province of Khémisset, where they met with Government officials, representatives of national institutions, civil society organizations and academic experts, as well as women community leaders.

The group i set to present its final conclusions and recommendations from their visit in a report to the Human Rights Council in June 2012.

The United Nations General Assembly has discussed gender equality as a key element of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of time-bound targets aimed at slashing poverty and other global ills, as well as holding a separate debate on relations between peoples of different beliefs, the body's president said today.

The United Nations General Assembly believes that promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women is an integral aspect of achieving the MDGs.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous.

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