International Women’s Day, Meeting our Members

Egypt, Jordan, Morocco / Western Sahara, Tunisia, Women’s rights and gender justice

Read in:  French  Arabic 

A very special International Women’s Day will be celebrated this year. In the past few months, thousands of women have dared to break the silence and denounce the violence and discriminations they have been – and continue to be – victims of. EuroMed Rights applauds this unprecedented global movement for women’s rights. In partnership with its member organisations, on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8 March, EuroMed Rights is publishing a series of factsheets and videos that highlight the persistent inequalities suffered by women.

In the Euro-Mediterranean region, some governments have initiated reforms to fight violence against women more effectively. This is the case for Tunisia with the adoption in July 2017 of a comprehensive law on violence against women. This law recognises all forms of violence and provides for legal and psychological assistance to victims. However, shortcomings remain. Firstly, there is no provision in the law which explicitly criminalises marital rape. Moreover, almost eight months after the adoption of the law, no implementing legislation has been promulgated.

In Jordan, the articles of the Penal Code allowing rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victim were abolished on August 1, 2017. A few weeks later, Lebanon followed this example, although here rapists continue to take advantage of protection in some circumstances, including if the victim of sexual assault is a girl aged 15 to 18 and in cases of consent or a prior promise of marriage.

In November 2017, Cyprus ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention. The Convention entered into force on March 1, 2018 and is expected to considerably strengthen the prevention of violence and the protection of victims.

This progress should not, however, conceal the many obstacles in the region preventing women from achieving gender equality. That is why EuroMed Rights actively promotes the adoption of the Istanbul Convention throughout the Euro-Mediterranean region as a comprehensive framework for combating violence against women.

Videos and situation reports

Discover more below on the situation of violence against women in the following countries


Despite the measures enacted by the Constitution, women in Egypt are suffering from many discriminations. Women are particularly vulnerable in the private sphere as the personal status law is very inegalitarian when it comes to access to divorce, child custody, and inheritance. Learn more with Nada Nashat from the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA) and read our Situation report on Violence against Women in Egypt.


Only some forms of violence against women are criminalized in Jordan. The Penal Code criminalizes notably rape and harassment but marital rape is not considered a criminal offence. Jordan does not have a specific law on honour crimes, and honour crimes are not explicitly mentioned in the Penal Code. Learn more with Eva Abou Halaweh from Mizan Law Group for Human Rights and read our new Situation report on Violence against Women in Jordan.


On 14 February 2018, the Parliament adopted a law on combating violence against women. Despite a few progresses, civil society argues the law only consists of a number of scattered and partial amendments to the Penal Code, and does not respond to the need for a comprehensive law on violence against women. Learn more about Law 103.13 (video in French) and read our updated Situation report on Violence against Women in Morocco.


Despite last year’s passing of a comprehensive law on fighting violence against women, only 0.27% of the government’s budget has been allocated to the Ministry of Women, Family and Children’s Affairs (MaFFE) for all work on women’s rights, including combating violence against women. Learn more with Monia from the Tunisian Association of the Democratic Women (ATFD) – video in French – and read our updated Situation report on Violence against Women in Tunisia. The ATFD is joining forces with EuroMed Rights and a coalition of over 50 CSOs to organise a demonstration on 10 March demanding equality in inheritance.


  1. Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD), Tunisia – Their activities will focus on equality in inheritance and include the organization of a big demonstration with a coalition of other Civil Society organisations on 10 March to demand this equality.
  2. Tunisian League of Human Rights (LTDH), Tunisia – The LTDH will organise a seminar on the thematic: “Women and economic and social rights”
  3. National Autonomous Syndicate for Public Administration Personnel (SNAPAP), Algeria – On 8 March, the SNAPAP will put in place a programme on 2 axis: fight against women unemployment and against the “feminisation” of poverty in the labour world (activities: press conference and gathering in front of the Press House in Algiers); the second axis is an awareness campaign against violence against women
  4. The Danish Center for Research and Information on Gender, Equality and Diversity (KVINFO), Denmark – KVINFO is organizing a multi-focus feminist event with speakers and music in Copenhagen. The main theme is feminism among women in Denmark with a non-Danish background
  5. Urnammu, Syria – Urnammu is participating in an Event in London on 8 March highlighting the situation of refugee women from different countries, including Syrian refugees
  6. Mizan for Law, Jordan –  Its main activity will be centered around the protection of women at risk, linked to the partnership between Mizan for Law and the Ministry of Social Development to shelter women at risk
  7. Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC), Palestine – Their focus is on women in rural areas, and shedding the light on success stories. Several activities and events will be organized within the framework of the “She leads the way” Campaign, launched to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018
  8. Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) – The AMDH is organising a sit-in on 8 March in front of the Parliament in collaboration with other human rights organisations, as well as workshops to draft an alternative to the law 103.13 on fighting violence against women, adopted on 14 February 2018
  9. KAFA – (enough) Violence and Exploitation, Lebanon – the documentary “Against me” was screened in the cinema Sofil (Beirut) on 7 March. Through the stories of seven women; belonging to different Christian and Muslim religious sects; the documentary portrays how the discriminatory Personal Status Laws control the fate of women in Lebanon. KAFA will also be joining efforts with CSOs to organise a feminist protest on 11 March


Find out more about the Istanbul Convention here.