In memory of Aicha Chenna, death of raped minor, women rights groups apply pressure for decriminalization of abortion

Moroccan women rights activists are organizing a stand this Wednesday before the Parliament, to protest the recent tragic death of a minor undergoing an illegal abortion. 

Protestors are calling for the de-criminalization of abortions in support of the late 14-year-old Meriem, and all the other victims of laws restricting access to healthy, safe pregnancy termination, according to feminist activist Najat Razi. 

The protest will start at 5 pm to voice citizens’ concerns, as women from all over Morocco will be participating to show their solidarity to the cause.

Razi, founder and member of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) and the Moroccan Association for Women’s Rights, demands the decriminalization of abortion in Morocco, to prevent tragedies similar such as Meriem’s.

The Moroccan Association for Women’s Rights will be present at the protest. Razi says that young girls should have the right to get an abortion, which shall prevent them from becoming mothers at such a young age, or dying from illicit, extremely unsafe medical and traditional procedures performed in secret.

Razi called the protest a stand of sorrow, as many girls’ stories end in tragidy considering the difficult access to legal abortions, and the unrealistic criteria required to become eligible for one. 

Girls and women who carry unwanted pregnancies to term also have devastating repercussions that range from social, economic, and professional isolation and stigmatization. 

“Mariam’s death is alarming, she was the victim of many crimes,” said the activist, noting that all girls should be protected, and in order to do that, the creation of laws to protect them should be imposed.

Razi recalls that the protest aligns with the late Aicha Chenna’s principles, saying:

“Aicha’s work and legacy cannot be summed in a few words, she broke taboos, she fought for women that she used to call ‘lonely and abandoned mothers’ and she dedicated her life for this.” 

The activist told HIBAPRESS EN that her organization, alongside others in the field of women rights, have always worked and are still working hard to change laws that are detrimental to women.

Razi remembers Aicha Chenna as a very persuasive woman, which helped her excel at her work and activism in support of women and kids.

“She always advocated for our claims effectively and called for providing basic rights and social protection for the mothers and their kids,” said the member of AMDH.

Najat Razi promised Chenna when she visited her grave that her legacy will live on because all the feminist associations in Morocco have started their pursuit of justice after being inspired by her.

She said that Chenna advocated for many causes, for mothers and women, for young and older girls, for abandoned kids and more.

Najat Razzi founded many women’s groups to fight against illiteracy among women, and trained a large number of pioneers of the Moroccan feminist movement in the early 1980s.

She is an expert on gender-based violence and has participated in multiple international conferences on women’s rights and has given many lectures and workshops on the subject.

Her dedication matches her efforts and the results are noticeable.

She took part in many taboo-breaking and feminist initiatives and plans on carrying on Aicha Chenna’s legacy and fighting for women’s rights.

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