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HRH Princess Lalla Meryem Chairs Celebration Ceremony of International Women’s Day

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem, president of the National Union of Moroccan Women (UNFM), chaired, on Wednesday in Rabat, the celebration ceremony of the International Women’s Day.

After visiting the UNFM’s ‘Innovation 4 Her’ laboratory, which offers a space for creation and collective intelligence to generate innovative solutions to women’s rights issues, especially around digital and digital arts, HRH Princess Lalla Meryem followed a demonstration of digital solutions related to sexual harassment developed by public agencies, the UNFM and young creators of the Hackaton.

It was then proceeded to the projection of an awareness video on sexual harassment and on the importance of the economic participation of Moroccan women for a socio-cultural and behavioral change.

In an address, United Nations Population Fund resident representative Luis Mora praised HM King Mohammed VI’s enlightened vision in paying the highest attention to the promotion of women’s and girls’ rights, whose situation has continued to evolve in various areas, stressing that thanks to the efforts made by HM the King, Moroccan women have gained in emancipation and empowerment and gender and spatial vulnerabilities have been significantly reduced.

He also praised the avant-garde action both at the national and international levels of HRH Princess Lalla Meryem which is part of the promotion of the effectiveness of fundamental rights and sustainable development of Morocco, especially in terms of health and dignity of women and girls, adding that this courageous action to focus on the issue of sexual harassment of women and girls, which in most countries is a social taboo and unspoken, represents once again an example of this universalist vision of Her Royal Highness, as well as her leadership for the cause of women’s rights in Morocco and globally.

Mora also highlighted the launch of this national mechanism for the fight against sexual harassment, the first of its kind in Morocco, in the Arab and African region, noting that this initiative denotes the strong involvement and mobilization of stakeholders to provide innovative solutions and operational and concrete responses to the phenomenon of violence against women and girls, including sexual harassment.

On the same occasion, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem presided over the signing ceremony of two partnership conventions between the public and private, economic and institutional sectors.

The first convention is related to the fight against sexual harassment in the professional and economic public and private environment and to the improvement of the working conditions of women in the rural and urban world.

It was signed by Younes Sekkouri, Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills, Chakib Alj, President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises and Naima Acherkouk, of the UNFM.

The second convention concerns technological innovation and outreach in the fight against sexual harassment. It was signed by El Hassan Daki, Attorney General of the King at the Court of Cassation, President of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Chakib Benmoussa, Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports, Aawatif Hayar, Minister of Solidarity, Social Integration and Family, Ghita Mezzour, Minister Delegate in charge of Digital Transition and Reform of the Administration and Naima Acherkouk, of the UNFM.

This ceremony was marked by the awarding by Her Royal Highness of the “Lalla Meryem Prize for Innovation and Excellence” to three carriers of innovative projects from the peri-urban and rural areas.

The theme chosen for this event, namely “sexual harassment”, is part of the social and humanist commitment of HRH Princess Lalla Meryem in favor of Moroccan women.

This pioneering and federative action demonstrates the attachment and solicitude that Her Royal Highness has towards women victims and vulnerable, by addressing the most taboo and harmful issues, in this case sexual harassment. It sets a dynamic and an example, engaging stakeholders to go beyond the legal, administrative and strategic and to provide innovative solutions and partnership responses, operational and concrete.

This initiative is conceived in alignment with the Vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him, setting up the promotion of female human capital as a major lever of national progress aiming at establishing a balance and harmony between the genders and the primordial role and status of women in the dynamics of economic and social development of the country, as underlined in the 2022 Throne Speech, with the leadership and avant-gardism of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem as President of the UNFM and avant-garde defender of the cause of Moroccan women, and with the national efforts to consecrate the State protector of women’s rights and the international commitment of the Kingdom in relation to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It aims to contribute to national efforts to promote an economic, social and institutional environment conducive to the inclusion and development of women as citizens and productive force, and to the socio-cultural and behavioral change towards women and to move from the perception of harassment as a small phenomenon to a large-scale phenomenon, as well as to equip women and actors in the field and in business to counter the phenomenon.

Upon her arrival at the venue of the ceremony, HRH Princess Lalla Meryem reviewed a section of the Auxiliary Forces that was performing the honors, before being greeted by El Hassan Daki, Chakib Benmoussa, Younes Sekkouri, Aawatif Hayar, Ghita Mezzour, Luis Mora and Chakib Alj.

Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem was also greeted by Mohamed Yacoubi, wali of the region Rabat-Salé-Kénitra, governor of the prefecture of Rabat, Rachid El Abdi, president of the regional council, Asmaa Rhlalou, president of the communal council of Rabat, and Abdelaziz Drouich, president of the prefectural council.

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