Morocco: Arranged marriages and consequences for women who refuse to marry against their consent
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||11 December 2001|
|Citation / Document Symbol||MAR38017.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Morocco: Arranged marriages and consequences for women who refuse to marry against their consent, 11 December 2001, MAR38017.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be662c.html [accessed 7 December 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Arranged marriages are "common" in Morocco (Manchester Guardian Weekly 22 Mar. 2000). One survey showed that 22 per cent of women in Morocco are married without their consent while 7.9 per cent of women are married by force ((Famafrique 23 June 2000). Religion (Islam) is invoked to justify the forcible marriages of girls less than 15 years old in countries like Morocco, Egypt and Algeria, even though these countries have laws that prohibit marriages for those younger than age 15 (L'Humanité 11 Mar. 2001).
Country Reports 2000 states that:
Although the Code of Personal Status was reformed in 1993, women's groups still complain of unequal treatment, particularly under the laws governing marriage, divorce, and inheritance.
In order to marry, a woman generally is required to obtain the permission of her "tuteur," or legal gardian, usually her father. Only in rare circumstances may she act as her own "tuteur." (Section 5)
A 25 August 2001 report in the French daily L'Humanité states that several French teenage girls, born to Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian immigrants, who had arrived in France when they were very young, are often lured by their parents to go for a "vacation" in their country of origin only to find out they were going to be forcibly married to men chosen by their parents.
A 21-27 November 1998 Maroc Hebdo International report states that a Moroccan-born 18 year-old Norwegian women who was raised by her Moroccan parents in Norway was forcibly brought back to Morocco by her parents in August 1997 where her parents, who wanted her to live and probably marry in Morocco, kept her sequestrated until pressures from the media and the Norwegian authorities allowed her release and her return to Norway.
No additional information on arranged and forced marriages in Morocco, nor on honour crimes and any other form of retribution against women who resist such marriages, could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2000. 2001. Washington, DC: United States
Department of State.
10 Dec. 2001]
Famafrique. 23 June 2000. "7,9 pour cent de mariages forcés au Maroc."
L'Humanité [Paris]. 25 August 2001. Françoise Escarpit and Julia Diener. "Mariage. Leur
famille les force encore à prendre mari. Le calvaire des filles d'immigrés."
_____. 11 March 2001. Hassane Zerrouky. "Expertise. L'UNESCO lance une campagne
contre les mariages précoces.
Manchester Guardian Weekly. 22 March 2000. "Morocco Divided Over Greater Rights for Women." (NEXIS)
Maroc Hebdo International [Casablanca]. 21-27 November 1998. No. 347. Kamal Benbrahim. "Nadia droguée et kidnappée par son père."
Additional Sources Consulted
Internet sources including:
Afrol.com. Afrol Gender Profiles: Morocco
La femme marocaine
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
UNIFEM Trust Fund
World News Connection (WNC)