Ambiguities in Morocco’s Lifting of CEDAW Reservations

Posted on 19 October 2009 by

Press Release from Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM), Morocco on the National Day of Women

Following the royal statement issued on December 10, 2008 marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which announced the lifting of Morocco’s reservations to CEDAW, we have continued to receive congratulatory messages from individuals and national and international organizations about the new step taken by our country to emphasize its dedication to the principles of equality.

Morocco, Behind Door Number One...(cc) Grumbler %-|

Morocco, Behind Door Number One...(cc) Grumbler %-|

However, whenever we are asked to participate in an event about the Moroccan experience or respond to messages of congratulations, we are faced with a dilemma. Indeed, to date, 10 months later, no official information has been released about the operational steps taken by the Moroccan government for the implementation of this declaration.

All those who had the opportunity to listen to speeches by Moroccan officials to international bodies in Geneva, New York, or elsewhere were reassured of Morocco’s will to honor its commitments and meet the recommendations of the CEDAW Committee regarding removal of reservations—all reservations.

As for those who follow the situation from within, available information leads us to believe that Morocco has merely prepared the instruments for a partial lifting of reservations, which was already announced in March 2006 and during Morocco’s candidacy to the Council of Human Rights in 2007. But according to some authorized sources, the reservations on the provisions directly related to the aim and purpose of CEDAW, namely articles 2, 15, and 16 will be maintained or, at best, replaced by explanatory statements.

Thus, on the occasion of the celebration of Morocco’s National Women’s Day, which coincides this year with the 30th anniversary of CEDAW, and in the context of the national and regional campaign “Equality without Reservation” we feel entitled to ask the following questions in order to be able to respond to messages of congratulations:

  • Should we rely on the external message suggesting a total commitment by the Moroccan government to lifting all reservations?
  • Or should we rather believe in the domestic discourse which refers, in all likelihood, to a limited lifting of reservations without any real impact?

Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM)
October 10, 2009

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  1. Muslimah Media Watch » Friday Links — October 23, 2009 Says:

    […] lifts its reservations on CEDAW, but doesn’t come up with a plan to enact […]

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