In the era of the Moroccan Kingdom's Renaissance, progress is the keyword, the one to be shown to the rest of the world.
Morocco has now being ruled by King Mohammed VI for 16 years. Of course, little steps onwards have been made, if compared to the ruthless Dictatorship of Hassan II. In 2004, the “Moudawana” the Family Code has undergone a significant reform. Morocco became the second Country in the whole Arab world to take such measures. However, the true application of this Code could only start in 2011 when the Moroccan Constitution was radically reformed.
The modernization of the infrastructure all over the country, a stable Government, the struggle against radical Islam and the big opening to the West, makes Morocco a free, democratic country. However, there are many internal contradictions related to the social dynamics and in particular concerning women's rights.
INVISIBLE MOTHERS is an ongoing project about the situation of young Moroccan girls who conceive a child outside of marriage.
Based on a research dating back to 2011 there were approximately 30.000 single-Mothers in Morocco. This trend is continuously surprisingly increasing. Here, strong growth and modernization clashes with traditional mentality and religious precepts. This project aims to tell the unfair and discriminating way in which Moroccan unmarried mothers are considered. These women are kept outside the Moroccan society because it’s a shame if a girl falls pregnant outside marriage.
They are also legally persecuted and their children are stigmatized as well. They are forced to live as invisible for the State and the community, because the recognition of identity and social status of a child is achieved only from the the paternal figure. These women are called “Mères Celibataires” due to some Ngos that in the 80's started to report the phenomenon. Stolen by their dignity, these girls don’t know how to change their difficult lives: Moroccan Penal Code punishes sexual relations between unmarried persons of the opposite sex with a prison sentence from one to five years, so unwed mothers are illegal from the first time they declare their pregnancy.
Ngos help them to try to live a normal life: to get a job, a house, health and school services for them and their children. For all those who do not get help, all that remains is oblivion: illegality and degradation. Data are worrying: 150 children a day are born outside marriage, 23 a day are abandoned, 600-800 illegal abortions per day.
In May 2015 , King Mohammed VI decided to loosen the nation’s strict abortion Law, allowing abortion in cases of rape, incest, danger to the mother’s health and fetal deformities. A first small step for a significant change.
This is just the beginning of a project I've done with the help of one of the best known Ngos in Casablanca called “Solidarité Feminine” .