Morocco’s model for reducing violent extremism by empowering women:
During Couture’s visit to Morocco, she found similar efforts at women’s empowerment in terms of finance, employment, and education. She also found special efforts to improve the legal status of women and, most remarkably, their role in the religious leadership of the country. Against opposition from hardline Islamist factions, King Mohammed VI has instituted progressive revisions to the Moroccan family code (Mudawana), granting women their due divorce and inheritance rights as well as protections within the household. Since 2005, by order of the king, Morocco’s Islamic affairs ministry has begun certifying female Muslim preachers.
Navigating the conservative precepts of Islamic legal tradition, the king introduced a new designation known as “Murshidat” (female religious guides), who share with the male imam in responsibility for administering a given mosque. In the course of their work, Murshidat serve to advance Islamic moderation and tolerance and curb radicalization. Couture writes, “This revolutionary development for the advancement of women in Morocco offered an opportunity for women to act as agents of positive change in their communities throughout Morocco.”…[Full Story]