Morocco Accepts CEDAW; U.S. Denies Women Asylum

(WOMENSENEWS)–Cheers King Mohammed VI of Morocco formally banned discrimination against women during a speech to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Afrique en Ligne, a North African Internet news site, reported Dec. 12.Officially, the king lifted Morocco’s “reservations” to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the 1979 treaty guaranteeing women’s equality known as CEDAW. Morocco signed the treaty in 1993, but like many other Arab nations, did so only with reservations to clauses that contradicted national or Islamic laws.Moroccan women’s rights groups hailed the speech, Maghreb Arab Press reported Dec. 12. The king said the reservations were no longer necessary since Morocco passed an updated national family law in 2003 increasing women’s legal rights.

Charge: Sahara Tribal Women Jailed for Adultery

A member of a Moroccan delegation in New York this month described a secret detention center in southwestern Algeria for mothers whose only crime was being unwed. The story’s political backdrop is a complicated territorial dispute in Western Sahara.