The 2004 reform of the Moudawana (Moroccan Family Code “CFM”), which set the conjugal capacity of girls at 18 instead of 15, gave a glimmer of hope to those who struggle hard against this phenomenon like iron. However, as there is no rule without exception, article 20 grants the family court the right to authorize marriage below the minimum legal age. “Article 20 of the Code provides for an exception to this compulsory marital status by providing that the family court judge may authorize the marriage of a minor, provided that he belongs to the minor`s parents or his legal representative, that he has carried out a medical expertise or a social examination and that he has justified his decision by an interest and a reason; who justify this marriage,” explains Nesrine Roudane, lawyer at the Casablanca Bar, president of the Legal and Fiscal Commission of the CFCIM, commercial mediator and associate arbitrator in charge of the Casablanca al Tamimi & Company office. He continued: “According to Article 21 cfm, the marriage of the minor is subject to the consent of his legal representative. The consent of the legal representative is proved by his signature, which is affixed with that of the minor on the application for marriage authorization, and by his presence at the time of issuance of the marriage certificate. If the minor`s legal representative refuses to give consent, the family court judge responsible for the marriage shall rule on the matter. At this point, it should be noted that even if it is the legal representative who must give consent to the minor`s marriage, the family court judge is entitled to decide whether to refuse his consent. This has important consequences in practice and can potentially be problematic. It`s as if my life was©©© put to the test the day I©© was© injured. I was 12 years old.

With us, a woman must keep her virginity© until marriage. I had severe morracia©. This is the place where I was taken to©the hospital. In 2018, more than 25,000 legal exemptions were granted, increasing the number of early marriages. All these exceptions affect girls almost 100%. “Since the promulgation of the Family Code in 2004, I have only had to register rare cases of marriages with a minor party, and of course I have had to be careful to check the full consent of the people concerned. This step comes after receiving the exemption granted by the judicial authorities on the basis of the results of the social examination and the medical expertise,” explains Bouchaïb Jirane, a teenager in Casablanca. If the marriage of underage girls is the subject of so much debate, it is because the pooled and cross-referenced data of several studies have shown that this practice is harmful to health.

One of the many reasons that justify the indispensable nature of medical expertise. This operation, carried out by a sworn expert, namely the specialist, allows the judge to ensure the physical maturity of the subject and his ability to contract marriage. Considering that the marriage of minors is a total aberration, several child protection associations have been fighting against this social scourge for years. This applies in particular to SOS Children`s Villages, which campaigns against the abandonment of children and for the socio-economic integration of young people. “This is a flagrant violation of children`s rights and an attack on their dignity. Marrying minors means depriving children of their fundamental and specific rights under the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Today, efforts are being made to eliminate this form of violence against children with a strong mobilization of civil society, and this should lead as soon as possible to elimination without exception and without conditions,” explains Samya El Mousti, Moroccan director of the association. In Morocco, associations©are currently discussing an amendment that lowers the age of marriage to 16 instead of 18 and was introduced by Islamists from the ruling Justice and©Development Party (PJD).

In a country where judges approved© the marriage of 35,000 minors by rogation© in 2010, the Spring Coalition©for Democracy and the©Galitã sã sãquire© have a potential impact©of such a law on marriage and girls` education©©. Speech by Khadija Rebbah, President©of the Democratic Association of Women of©Morocco in Casablanca. “This tragedy is taking on great proportions in remote, inland and peripheral areas such as Tafraouten. That`s why we organized our annual awareness caravan in the region,” Najat Ikhich, president of the Ytto Foundation, which has been fighting teenage marriage for more than a decade, told AFP. This violation of the law is often challenged because it promotes an increase in the number of marriages of minors. In 2020, 19,266 applications for the marriage of minors were filed with Moroccan courts. And in the same year, more than 13,000 exemptions were granted, according to a study presented by prosecutors on November 29, 2021. The Family Code provides for the possibility of having an ordinary marriage recognized.

The aim is to give this marriage a legal framework to defend women`s rights, but many associations see it as an additional opportunity to advocate for early marriage. The deadline for the regularization of usual marriages by “la Fatiha” should expire in February 2019. In Morocco, the age©of marriage rose© from 15 to 18 years ago almost 15 years ago. However, despite© the ban on marriage introduced©by the reform©of the Family Code in 2004, many minors are still affected©© by this practice, as shown by the report©by journalist Catherine Zemmouri. The training and development of women`s autonomy are two pillars in the fight against marriages with minors. Karima Errejraji, coordinator of the Ytto Foundation in the South, agrees: since she had never set foot in school, united with a 56-year-old man at the age of 14, she had to fight to get out of the “darkness”. “By integrating the associative environment, I got out of it. I decided to dedicate my life to helping girls in the region,” says the forty-year-old, who accompanies Ms.

Ikhich in her missions. In rural areas, girls are often seen as a burden to get married as quickly as possible. Assuming they will protect them, their parents are not aware of the consequences of early marriage for their child. “It`s never easy for a parent to separate from their child, but to hide nothing from you, I felt relieved when Ahlam got married at that age. Because otherwise I would become the laughing stock of the whole village. With us, all girls marry at an early age, it has even become the norm,” says Ahlam`s father. Ahlam, who is only 17 years old, has been married to a man twelve years her senior for about nine months and is afraid of getting pregnant. “In our village, the tradition is that we get married very early. Since the age of 13-14, my girlfriends and I have loved watching soap operas and imagining the day when someone would show up to ask for our hand. So it was only natural that I said yes without hesitation when Aziz, a distant cousin of my father, whom I met for the first time, proposed to me. That day, I was really excited because not only was I fulfilling a dream, but I was finally able to leave the village to live in Casablanca, the huge city I could never visit.

What bothers me today is that my family is putting pressure on me to get pregnant, an eventuality that I fear more than anything else because I know very well that being pregnant at this age can be dangerous,” she says. Gone are the days when we married very young! The average age of marriage in Morocco continues to rise, both for women and men in urban and rural areas.