Women's Rights and Islam in Morocco

Trip Overview:

Many outside of Islam believe that the tradition puts restrictioRabatns on women with regards to property rights, education, dress, marriage, and employment. But are all of these ideas well informed, or are they stereotypes based on media portrayals?

Morocco, like much of the Middle East, is an Islamic country. Moving past the media headlines, this project will introduce participants to women and young people in Morocco to see what life for them is really like. We will meet women who work in Parliament, women spreading the concept of Islamic Feminism, and NGOs who work to support women in areas of employment and education. Participants will stay with homestay families allowing them to experience authentic homelife and food while in Rabat. While the project is based in the capital city of Rabat, participants will take excursions to both Fes and Casablanca.

Trip Partners:

This Immersion Project will be facilitated in cooperation with the Center for Cross Cultural Learning (CCCL). The CCCL is a private cultural institution founded and directed by Moroccan academics with many years of experience in cross-cultural education. The list of lecturers includes outstanding scholars in the areas of social science, humanities, literature, religion, and architecture as well as artists, journalists, NGO activists, artisans, and craftsmen.

Sample Itinerary:Students in Mosque

Day 1: Travel to Morocco

Day 2: Walking tour of Rabat; Orientation to Morocco and Arabic; Bargaining Field Exercise; Stay with host families

Day 3: Discussion on Women and Religion in Morocco; Discussion with women from Parliament; Visit National Council of Human Rights; Bread and Tea Making

Day 4: Site Visits: Center for Women's Studies; Amnesty International; dinner with host families

Day 5: Excursion to Fes; visit local NGOs; dinner and discussion with Fes University students; stay in hotel

Day 6: Guided tour of 12 centuries old city; Observation exercises during free time in Fes

Day 7: Travel back to Rabat; site visits and discussions with NGOs

Day 8: Group discussion with university students; experiential learning: writing on wooden boards; evening musical performance

Day 9: Travel to Casablanca; visit Hassan II mosque; Meet with members of Solidarite Feminine; lunch with single mothers from Solidarite Feminine; stay in hotel

Day 10: Travel back to Gettysburg

Project Leader:

Kara Fitzgerald

My name is Kara and I am a senior International Affairs and Political Affairs double major with a minor in Spanish from West Chester, Pennsylvania. On campus, I am an Eisenhower Institute Undergraduate Fellow, a member of the student staff for Residence Life, and a program coordinator for the Center for Public Service. I spent a semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a summer in León Nicaragua, and a semester in Amman, Jordan, where my passion and research centered around Islamic Feminism and the role and rights of women in Islam. I am so excited to continue this learning on the Morocco immersion project and to help students have transformative experiences and dialogues about an often misunderstood, but hugely important, theme.