Københavns Retshjælp (Copenhagen Legal Aid Society) like the legal aid centre in Temara provided free legal counselling to Danish citizens. Københavns Retshjælp’s origins date back to 1885, and the organisation is the model upon which the Moroccan centre is based. The Danish legal aid centre is run by a board and more than 120 volunteer legal advisors, including lawyers who are able to bring the clients’ cases before a court judge. The head of the board of Københavns Retshjælp, Dr. Eva Smith, who is has a prominent public profile in Denmark in the area of legal rights, is also connected to KVINFO’s project in Morocco. In the future, Københavns Retshjælp will take an active role in developing further the Moroccan legal aid centre.
Read more about Københavns Retshjælp
Read more about KVINFO’s project ‘Strengthening Women’s Rights and the Access to Justice in the Moroccan Legal System’
The Moudawana is the Moroccan family law introduced in 2004, based upon and legitimatised in the Islamic Sharia school of law. The law has been applauded for promoting women’s rights, but at the same time critical voices have also pointed out that the law has also led to an increase in the King’s influence within the country.
Read more about the Moudawana in in an article at womendialogue.org
English translation of the Moudawana
In October 2010, a woman rang the bell of an apartment in Temara – a poor suburb of the Moroccan capital Rabat. The woman was pregnant after having been raped by a high-standing municipal director, and as a result had absolutely no idea what she should do.
“My work is dedicated to bringing about political, social and economic change for Arab women”, tells Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female film director. FORUM met her during the Dox Box 2009 documentary film festival in Damascus, at which her award-winning film Women without Shadows was screened.
Mediterranean port city in north Egypt
One of Egypt’s largest and most important cities, second in size only to Cairo.
The city has more than four million inhabitants (2006 figures)
The city is divided into 6 districts.
“The women need so much more help than just a roof over their head”, explains Zeinab Mohammad Hassan Moharrem, who runs a shelter in Egypt.
“This year, Yemen will see the opening of its third women’s shelter. And it’s very much needed as violence against women is on the rise”, explains Salma Ahmed Dhaif Allah.
Salma Ahmed Dhaif Allah is currently working on the opening preparations for a shelter in Yemen. This will be the country’s third such shelter for women victims of violence.
Changes in Morocco’s family laws have resulted in a fall in the number of women affected by violence in Morocco, explains Fatima Outaleb.
In Morocco, concealing a married woman is illegal. As a result, Fatima Outaleb and the others at the shelter in Rabat find themselves operating in somewhat of a grey area.
In September 2009, 12 women who daily work in shelters across the Middle East were invited to Denmark by KVINFO to participate in a training and education workshop together with Dannerhuset.