MOROCCO: Article 475: When Marriage Becomes Punishment
At 16, Amina committed suicide after a Moroccan judge sentenced her to marry her rapist. This film is about who and what let it happen.
WHY WE WANT TO MAKE THIS FILM
In March of 2011, a 16 year old girl named Amina Filali committed suicide by swallowing rat poison. A year earlier, Amina was raped and forced to marry her rapist by a Moroccan judge who cited Article 475 of the Moroccan Penal code. This law is wrongly used to force young girls to marry their rapists, thus saving the “honor of the family”. And while it does not touch on the case of rape in itself, this law is usually the one to be applied by the judges, for it is the only one that cancels all charges provided the plaintiff is married to the defendant.
Even after international and national public outcry, online and through street protests, the law kept on being misused to acquit rapists from all charges, as a few weeks later, another 14-year old girl named Safae, was sentenced, and without her parents being present in court, to marry her rapist. Safae is currently pregnant and has attempted to commit suicide several times according to her parents.
Official figures have demonstrated that 41,000 marriages in Morocco involve female minors, and this figure is up 25% since the previous year, showing a general regression in women’s rights and the application of women-related laws.
Despite all of this, the law is not entirely to blame. Many forced marriages are pushed upon young couples outside of the legal framework, even when rape is not involved. Article 475 of the penal code therefore becomes a legal extension or a governmental endorsement of social and cultural pressures which women face in their daily lives. 475 is a symbol for discrimination against Moroccan women.
The issue of women’s rights in Morocco has never been explicitly covered by any film. “475” is a feature documentary which will reveal institutionalized forms of discrimination against Moroccan women by questioning victims of these laws and the officials which have helped keep them in place.
The crew, constituting of Moroccan pro-democracy, human rights and feminist activists will embark on a journey throughout Morocco to find out what it means to be a Moroccan woman.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
The aim of “475” is to raise questions about Moroccan laws and popular attitudes which have allowed for discrimination against women and to inspire outrage amongst viewers. This film will attempt to break the taboos that surround sexual dialogue in Morocco as a largely Muslim country and really put forth an honest discussion of the treatment of women. Every crew member is directly affected by this discrimination, whether it is directly or indirectly through their mothers, their sisters or daughters. We want to end Article 475 and we want true equality for women in Morocco and everywhere.
We have made our fundraising goal for Kickstarter as low as it can be, but really we will need much, much more than that. If you can’t donate, just help us spread the word: post it on Facebook, Tweet it, tell your friends and family…we need anything we can get!
CONTACT & MORE
If you have any questions, you are more than welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by asking Nadir directly by following him on Twitter . For more information on Nadir Bouhmouch’s last film, “My Makhzen and Me” visit the www.mymakhzenandme.com.