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King Mohammed Seeks More Rights for Women in Morocco

October 11, 2003|From Reuters

RABAT, Morocco — Moroccan women are to win greater rights in marriage and divorce under proposed reforms unveiled Friday by King Mohammed VI.

The minimum age for women to marry would be raised from 15 to 18, equal that of men, and women would get property rights in marriage.

Women would be able to divorce their husbands, rather than only the other way around, and, unlike now, divorce would need a judge's approval.

Muslim men would still be able to marry as many as four wives, but for the first time polygamy would also need a judge's authorization, in addition to consent of the man's existing wives and fiancee.

"Make husband and wife jointly responsible for the family in keeping with the words of my ancestor the prophet [Muhammad], 'Only an honorable man will honor [women] and only an ignoble man will humble them,' " the king told Parliament as it reconvened.

Lawmakers are expected to approve the reforms.

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