Hakima Fassi Fihri

Hakima Fassi Fihri—Women’s Rights and Feminist Movements in Morocco: the Major Achievements and the Pending Challenges

Hakima Fassi Fihri12:00–2:00
New Cabell Hall Room 144


The talk addresses the legal outcomes of Moroccan feminism as a social movement, and the legal reforms taken in the past and those in progress now, in order to implement gender equality in Morocco. Liberal feminists have been struggling since the seventies for equal treatment by the laws towards all Moroccan citizens. Minor reforms were taken under King Hassan II, but they were largely considered by liberal feminists to be insufficient. Since 1999, Morocco accelerated its democratization process, and King Mohamed VI encouraged new legal reforms (Family Code and Nationality Code in 2004), bringing new hope to Moroccan feminists. The Constitution reform of 2011 was revolutionary, addressing the principles of gender equality, non discrimination and human rights. Liberal feminists praised these reforms, but they advocate for more. A significant signal was addressed when a socialist politician asked for gender equality in Morocco by challenging laws on polygamy and inheritance. Socialist feminists also ask for a legal framework for abortion. Such reforms imply a strong political willpower from Moroccan politicians. This is a major challenge, as Islam is “religion of the State”, and in Morocco the King is a religious leader. Moreover, the conservative Islamist party holds a large part in the Government/Parliament. Therefore, how to reach a balance, in legal reforms, between people’s urge to modern laws, and complying with islamic principles ?

Hakima Fassi Fihri

Hakima Fassi Fihri presenting Women’s Rights and Feminist Movements in Morocco: the Major Achievements and the Pending Challenges.

Hakima Fassi Fihri is a Moroccan scholar. She teaches Family Law in the School of Law at the International University of Rabat (IUR).  She serves also as the Director of International Relations and Partnerships at IUR, and is a member of its managing board.
She is a graduate from Rabat University School of Law, and holds a Master's Degree (DEA) in European Law from the University Pierre Mendès-France Grenoble II (France). 
She conducts research, publishes and teaches on women’s rights in Morocco, Moroccan Family Code readings, inheritance of women in Morocco, gender equality and women empowerment in Morocco and North Africa.
One of Hakima’s fields of interest relates to inter-religious marriages between Moroccan Muslim women and non-Muslim men who have not converted to Islam. She worked on inter-religious marriages as per Moroccan Law, based on the fact that the legal framework in Morocco on inter-religious marriages is inspired by religious rules, and that marriage between a Moroccan Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man who has not converted to Islam is not allowed in Morocco.
Hakima works on understanding how the religious rules (of islam) impact the laws governing family in Morocco, based on the fact that islam is the religion of the State according to the Moroccan Constitution, and the main source of Family law in Morocco is islamic law.
She believes that fair reforms of the family law and islamic rules are compatible, and she believes that gender equality and islam are not contradictory, provided that an appropriate/innovative reading of the islamic texts is performed.
Hakima is involved in family-oriented civil society activities in Morocco, on topics relating to women's rights and feminism in the Arab/Islamic world, and more generally, topics relating to women’s condition in islam (inheritance rules, inter-religious marriage,...), and Family law in Morocco.