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The Reform of the Moudawana: The Role of Women's Civil Society Organizations in Changing the Personal Status Code in Morocco

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The relationship between society and law is dynamic and complex, as laws are both the reflection of the society that creates them and the sculptor of the society over which they rule. These two forces exert constant pressure on one another, and if law and society do not adequately mirror each other, tension is likely to result. Law is not a static entity, but rather must adapt itself to society as changes occur within that society; similarly, as law changes, society too will evolve. This process can be seen in Morocco, where the Moudawana, or Personal Status Code, viewed by many as an inherently discriminatory text, has been undergoing a process of reform. The reforms in January of 2004 were both an attempt to increase women's rights and participation in society and a result of women's increased economic and political participation.

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