Remembering Violence, Negotiating Change: The Moroccan Equity and Reconciliation Commission and the Politics of Gender


Dennerlein, Bettina. 2012. “Remembering Violence, Negotiating Change: The Moroccan Equity and Reconciliation Commission and the Politics of Gender.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 8 (1): 10-36.

Author: Bettina Dennerlein


This paper focuses on competing appropriations of international women's rights standards in the framework of the Moroccan Equity and Reconciliation Commission (ERC) and its follow-up projects. I argue that, even if the ERC's gender approach has been introduced as part of international models of transitional justice, it is geared toward earlier women's rights and human rights activism, as well as to established state practices of at least selectively supporting women's rights. Like political reform in general, the ERC and its gender approach are an outcome of internal, long-time dynamics of change. Within the ERC's politics of gender, there exists a tendency to depoliticize women's rights activism in the process of reconciliation by making women a target for welfare measures and "human development." Yet, at the same time, the officially recognized gender approach also allows for strategies to broaden the basis for women's rights activism by making women's experiences of violence during the "Years of Lead" (the period of fierce repression under the rule of Hassan II), an issue of concern in the framework of its new politics of memory. The implementation of the ERC's gender approach can be interpreted as an example of how women's rights activism may be able to push its agenda while adjusting to both transnational discourses and national politics.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Post-Conflict Governance, Justice, Transitional Justice, TRCs, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa Countries: Morocco

Year: 2012

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at