March 8

On this International Women’s Day, I want to pay homage to all the Moroccan women who have worked for so long, under difficult circumstances, to bring about gender equality, justice, and progress for their country. This post is in remembrance of our ancestors and grandmothers, our pioneers: Fatima Al Fihriya, who built the world’s oldest university in Fes, Al-Qarawiyyin; Touria Chaoui, who flew her plane over occupied Casablanca in order to distribute independence tracts; Malika Al Fassi, the only female signatory of the Independence Manifesto; Saida Menebhi, who died in prison for her political ideals; and all the female victims of the Years of Lead.

With admiration for the work and sacrifices of, and examples set by, Leila Abouzeid, Ghita El Khayat, Aicha Belarbi, Aziza Bennani, Fatima Benslimane, Bouchra Bernoussi, Rahma Bourquia, Zakya Daoud, Fatna El Bouih, Aicha Ech-Chenna, Nawal El Moutawakil, Nezha Hayat, Dr. Hakima Himmich, Latifa Jbabdi, Najat M’jid, Fatema Mernissi, Soumaya Naamane Guessous, Zoulikha Nasri, Halima Ouarzazi, Badia Skalli, Hinde Taarji, and all the other activists whose names do not appear here.

With respect for the men who have joined in the fight for gender equality: Mouhcine Ayouche, Abdelkader Ech-Chenna, Aziz El Ouadie, Moha Ennaji, Chakib Guessous, Lahcen Haddad, Yusuf Madad, Lekbir Ouhajou, Noureddine Saoudi, and Ahmed Zainabi.

And with hope, for the new generation.