A Historical Reading of a Gender-Segregated Space in Moroccco
This paper aims to study the division of space from a gender perspective in the private and public sphere at present-day Morocco. In Morocco, the coffee shop culture is one of the many spaces predominantly occupied by men. This implies the dominance of the male gender in the public sphere in Moroccan society generally. The coffee shop is a public sphere that is situated in major areas in Morroco. However, it is observed to be more men welcoming in comparison to women. Women who attempt to intrude in these public spaces are in most cases charged with cultural guilt. The paper attempts to investigate the history of Moroccan women in reclaiming their public and private space since the first women movement in Morocco. The latter was noted to coincide with the struggle for women's space in the public sphere in the past. Drawing upon the concept of Harem, this paper links the historical and physical limitation of the access of women to public spaces. It also examines the traditional role of women as indicated in the first Moroccan family law adopted in 1947. It further studies the limitation of the first family law, and how the 2004 modified family law gave more rights to the women.
Keywords - Space, Gender, Coffee Shop Culture, Morocco