Is religion an obstacle to pro-women legal reforms in Morocco?

By Imane Chaara, ERF Award Winner

Why do people need to identify themselves with the law? What kind of effect do education, location and religion have on the way people react towards legal reforms? How do women in Morocco react in response to legal reforms? Is religion an obstacle to pro-women legal reforms? These questions were addressed by Imane Chaara, Member of the Centre of Research in Economics of Development – University of Namur, in her paper entitled “Pro-women legal reform in Morocco: Is religion an obstacle?”. The paper sheds the light on the importance of people’s identification with the law and studies the effect of education, location and religion on the way people react in response to the law. Even when a legal reform aims to relax the existing constraints on women, the latter are not unanimously in favor of it. To explain this behavior, Imane Chaara argues that education has a positive effect on the support of the law, while religion per se does not. However, the situation differs when education and religion interact. Those who are both educated and devout are less likely to support the reform. Want to know why? Watch the video interview with Imane Chaara The paper was presented and discussed in a parallel session on Institutional Economics – Religion and Socio-Economic Development. Imane Chaara won the ERF Best Paper Award under the theme of Institutional Economics.
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