Good Essay On “Women’s Arab Spring”: Feminism In Morocco. Feminist Theory, Conflict Theory, Symbolic Interactionism Introduction
The Arab spring led to massive demonstrations on the street. Morocco experienced the Arab uprising and their citizens were more involved in public manifestations in the streets calling for pro-democracy changes in governance. Islamic feminists in Morocco have immensely benefited from the Arab uprising as it revived their feminist activism. The Islamic feminists tended to use the Islam religion model for basing their fight against the oppression of women in the Moroccan society. This approach enabled them to gain popularity with the masses. A large number of Moroccans profess the Islam religion and believe in the equality of rights of men and women as according to their religion. Women movements in Morocco have experienced many challenges as they have been sidelined in society and forced over the years to join political wagons so as to remain relevant in society. It is evident that the Arab spring was a turning point for feminist activism in Morocco as women were more involved in the practice (Maynard). The Arab Spring also strengthened the channels used by the Moroccan feminists in airing their grievances as activist women in society.
The sociological symbolic domain in the feminist culture of Moroccan female activism is attributed to the traumatisation of women activists in the society. The women activists have always received threats over many years from those with conservative perspectives in the Arab World (Bazir). The conservatives have at most times regarded feminist activism as an abominable action in society. The primary ideology of the Conservatives in Morocco is that women should not be involved in aggressive advocating for their rights but rather proceed with moderation in their quest to fight for equality. The conservatives have intimidated the feminist activists and made them be afraid as they carry out their activities (Sadiqi). However, the radical Islamic feminists have not been wavered by the perceptions of the conservatives. They have stood on their ground and relentlessly fought for the recognition of women in society. Women empowerment based on their Islamic religion teachings has been the driving force of the feminists in accomplishing their tasks.Structural Functionalism
The Arab society seems to be in conflict with their governing structures. Women movements have emerged through Non-governmental institutions in a bid to fight against the oppressive rule of men (Bazir). There are ideological differences in the Moroccan society that have led to the eruption of major protests throughout the country (Lesch and Haas).
Tensions between the various social institutions have been heightened. The internet through the social media has aggravated this situation particularly in regard to feminism. The platform has been used as a means of citing the wrong practices in the social institutions that have led to the undermining of women (Sadiqi). The media platform in the Arab uprising has been useful as it has elevated the status of comprehension of critical issues in the Moroccan society. Public awareness has been widely achieved, and women are now well aware of their rights in the society and can stand up to defend themselves without any masculine support (Bazir). A clear illustration in this instance would be the Facebook page that was created in Morocco to amplify the adverse impacts of suppression of women in the society. The page had the slogan “We are all Amina Filali”. It was created as a result of sympathy and outrage over a suicide act committed by a 16-year-old girl who was coerced into marrying her rapist (Bazir). Women in the Moroccan community vehemently condemned this action and sought to assert their rights in society with rage. The Moroccan society now tends to function in a way that involves much scrutiny of the social institutions, and any form of wrongful practices observed culminate into heated debates and much criticism (Bazir).Conflict Theory
The conflict theory is clearly manifested in the Moroccan society as the powerful dominant group seems to be the men. The women are politically underrepresented as the men have dominated politics (Maynard). This has devastated women movements as they experience much difficulty in pushing their agendas for legislative consideration (Bazir). The males have dominated positions in parliament and government that are critical institutions in implementing changes in the legal laws regarding women.
The women feminist movement have tended to be used by the male dominant system in accomplishing their political agendas. The feminist movements in the past had political affiliations for them to able to channel their concerns through a political party (Joffé). The feminist activists viewed this approach as a useful tool for gaining political relevance in the Moroccan society (Maynard).
The Arab spring fastened the legislative reforms that were needed to assert and defend women’s rights in the Moroccan society. In addition, women were more involved in the rallies, marches and demonstrations on the streets without fail. The women were at the forefront in the streets seeking pro-democratic changes (Lesch and Haas). The reason they had to conform to seeking these democratic changes activism was because the uprising was mainly dominated by youth with such ideologies (Joffé). The Arab spring provided a rejuvenated voice for the Moroccan Feminists, even though, the issues and rights advocated in the rallies were not specifically gender oriented (Lesch and Haas).
Gender differences are a central feature of the Moroccan society. There is an enormous gap between the two sexes. The males have much influence in all spheres of social life, and the women are merely limited to caring activities. However, the Arab spring enlightened numerous women to become more vibrant and take part in the determining key political decisions that affected them (Joffé). The male perceptions of dominance became a matter that was firmly rejected, and there were continued resistance towards the policies adopted by the male dominated leadership in the Moroccan society (Joffé).Dependence Theory
The theory can be related in this context through the rebellion that seems to have sprung up in Morocco. Feminist movements in Morocco have always been dependent on joining nationalistic political parties so as to gain recognition in society (Lesch and Haas). The political parties were the only channel at the time through which the feminist groups could have access to public space (Bazir). The Arab spring revolutionized this concept and made the women movements to become more autonomous hence leading to heightened resistance in the Moroccan society.
Feminists are forced to reframe their agendas in the political parties since they are muscled into promoting the masculine political agendas. The ideologies of the feminist were only considered then when they converged on critical national issues that affected the Moroccan society as a whole (Joffé). The exploitation of feminist movements negatively impacted on their existence in the Moroccan society as due to this they became scarce. The Arab uprising instilled tremendous ideological changes in the Arab world particularly in regard to women’s rights and this precipitated increased resistance by the feminist movements that broke ties with political parties and became independent (Lesch and Haas).
In conclusion, it would be right to note that the “Arab Spring has contributed immensely to the reforms witnessed in Morocco regarding feminist perspectives. The progress that has been seen is overwhelmingly fascinating. However, there is still need for more changes to solve the social gender inequalities that continue to prevail in the Moroccan community.
Bazir, Lamia. "The Women’s Movement in Morocco: Bridging the Progressive-Islamic Feminist Binary." Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa (2013): 5-10.
Joffé, George. North Africa’s Arab Spring. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2013.
Lesch, David and Mark Haas. The Arab Spring: Change and Resistance in the Middle East. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2012.
Maynard, Lynnsay. "It's now or never for Morocco's Feminists." The Jerusalem Review of Near East Affairs (2014): 5-10.
Sadiqi, Fatima. Moroccan Feminist Discourses. Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.