The Hakkaoui law has come in to place

A new law has come in to force in Morocco, criminalising abuses against women in the country.

The new law makes forced marriage illegal, along with sexual harassment outside of marriage and some forms of domestic violence.


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The legislation is called the Hakkaoui law after the current Minister for Family Affairs and Women’s Issues, Bassima Hakkaoui. According to Moroccan officials it covers “any act based on gender discrimination that entails physical, psychological, sexual, or economic harm to a woman.”

Although the new law is a welcome step forward in the country, some say it does not go far enough, including Nouzha Skalli, the former minister for women’s affairs. He previously told Jenue Afrique magazine: “It only modified some articles of the penal code and can’t be considered like a great breakthrough in the struggle against violence against women.”

Morroco has historically had an endemic problem with violence against women, the Washington Post highlighted a 2009 study in which 63% of women aged 18-64 in the country said they had experienced physical or psychological violence.

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