Saturday, November 08, 2003

MOROCCO AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS: On Thursday, I expressed skepticism at political reforms in the Arab world. But Morocco's King Mohammed VI has a pretty solid record.

Today, reports that, for the first time, a woman gave a religious lecture before an audience of scholars and theologians.

For the first time in the history of Morocco, a woman has given a religious lecture at the traditional lectures organized every Ramadan (fasting month) by the king of Morocco.

Rajaa Naji Mekkaoui, a university teacher, presented her lecture before King Mohammed VI at the royal palace in Rabat, which serves as a venue for such event. Her lecture before an audience of scholars and theologians from the Muslim World was entitled "The universality of the family structure in a world of multiple distinctive features." In her analysis, Mrs Mekkaoui congratulated the monarch for his "great role" in reforming the family code that gives women more rights.

The Ramadan religious lectures were instituted by the late king Hassan II in the eighties. They are attended by members of the government, high ranking military officials, foreign ambassadors accredited to Rabat and guests from the Muslim World.
Excellent news, to say the least. And hopefully permanent.

This is unrelated but interestingly, the Riyadh Daily is reporting that the Arab League will sent a delegation to Iraq next week.


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