In a speech celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, King Mohammed VI of Morocco announced last week his nation’s full acceptance of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the 1979 treaty that bans gender discrimination.
According to Women’s eNews, Morocco formally signed the treaty in 1993 with reservations and refused to enforce any clauses that opposed national or Islamic law. King Mohammed VI emphasized last week that Morocco now accepts all of CEDAW’s provisions, a change that comes after a national Moroccan law expanding women’s rights was passed in 2003. “Our country has become an international actor of which the progress and daring initiatives in this matter are readily recognized,” said the king.
Women’s rights activists in Morocco celebrated the king’s announcement. Currently, 185 nations have ratified CEDAW. The United States has never ratified the treaty.