40 images Created 30 Nov 2015
FLOWERS OF EVIL / Morocco / ongoing project
This is an ongoing project about the situation of young Moroccan girls who conceive a child outside of marriage. The modernization all over the country and the big opening to the West, try to make Morocco a free and democratic country. However, there are many internal contradictions related to social dynamics and in particular concerning women's rights. Traditionally, in Islamic societies , unmarried mothers are not supposed to exist. To become pregnant out of wedlock is not only regarded as extremely disrespectful to the community, but traditionally, it is illegal. These women and their families are condemned by Moroccan society and most families reject their unmarried daughters, leaving them to care for themselves and their children. Based on a research dating back to 2009 there were approximately 300.000 single-Mothers in Morocco and this trend is continuously increasing. They are forced to live as invisible for the State and the community, because the recognition of identity and social status of a child is achieved only from the the paternal figure. These women are called “Mères Celibataires” due to some Ngos that in the 80's started to report the phenomenon. Moroccan Penal Code punished sexual relations between unmarried persons of the opposite sex with a prison sentence from one month to one year, so unwed mothers were illegal from the first time they declare their pregnancy. In 2004, the “Moudawana” the Family Code has undergone a significant reform. However, the application of the “Moudawana” started in 2011 when the Moroccan Constitution was radically reformed. Large part of society is not ready for this change , because of the strong influence of traditions and religious precepts. Ngos help these girls to try to live a normal life: to get a job, a house, health and school services for them and their children. For all those who do not get help, all that remains is oblivion: illegality and degradation. Data are worrying day by day : 150 children a day are born outside marriage, 23 a day are abandoned. Given to the intense pressure of the civil society towards the problem of the many abandoned children and mothers marginalized, this create a strong debate on Abortion: as many as 600 to 800 Moroccan women secretly undergo abortions every day. The “underground clinics” are frequently ill-equipped and staffed by poorly-trained doctors and nurses. An historical step (though small) to the openness of this serious problem, comes from King Mohammed VI , that for the first time decided to change the abortion law in may 2015 and make it legal but only for fetal malformation or danger for the mother. This is just the beginning of a project I've started with the help of one of the best known Ngos in Casablanca called Solidarité Feminine and her founder Aicha Ech Chenna.