Telling the Stories of Influential Moroccan Women

Telling the Stories of Influential Moroccan Women

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Rabat – On this day we remember the Moroccan women who have given us the hope and courage to rise and stand out. The Moroccan women who showcased strength and wisdom, who fought for equality and justice, and who represented their country in the best way. 

Today, Morocco World News honors the memories of some of these inspiring and influential women. 

Fatima Al-Fihri 

An icon of education, Fatima Al-Fihri is notorious for founding Al Quaraouiyine mosque, library, and university in Fez with her own money in A.D. 859. During the 9th century, she became a model for intellectual advancement and educational development. In addition to several prominent Muslim scholars, the university also attracted prominent Jewish and Christian figures

Fatema Mernissi 

An author, sociologist, and researcher, she was a leader of the Moroccan feminist movement and an icon of gender equality. She has written several books and theses on the importance of fostering gender equality in society through Islam. Her work was highly criticized in the 1970s for being progressive. She later became highly influential among scholars and researchers in the MENA region. 

Nawal El Moutawakil 

She was the first African woman to become an Olympic champion, winning a gold medal in 1984 after winning the 400-meters hurdles event at the Summer Olympics. In 2007, El Moutawakel was named Minister of Sports. 

Asmaa Boujibar 

A NASA researcher specializing in the metal-silicate partitioning of sulfur, and new experimental and thermodynamic constraints on planetary accretion. The young scientist also applies big data and machine learning techniques to analyze meteorites, to better understand how our Solar System has evolved.


Khadija is a woman who sells bread for a living. She was married at a very young age and sent to Rabat with her new husband. She divorced 2 years later and was left to take care of her newborn daughter. Nowadays, she sells bread, baghrir, and msemen in Hay Nahda Rabat. Her clients know and trust the quality of her products, but they also respect her seriousness. “Because of so much hard work, I am able to send my daughter to a private school and rent a small but nice apartment here, hamdoulilah, I am doing fine on my own,” she told MWN. 

Khadija represents the women who work hard to gain a living and to provide us with their services. 

Touria Chaoui 

The first Moroccan and Arab woman to become a pilot at the age of 15. When her family moved from Fez to Casablanca, her father enrolled her in an aviation school where she got her license despite being told she was not welcome. Fortunately for her, there was no law against enrolling women in the school. Four years later, she was murdered. Her murderer remains unidentified. 

Aicha Chenna 

A social worker and women’s rights advocate and activist. She was born in 1941 during the protectorate era in Casablanca. In 1985, she founded the Solidarite Feminine Association (ASF) to support single mothers and care for abandoned children. She won several prizes for her activism and social work. 

These women along with every Moroccan woman inspire us every single day to fight for our rights and to speak our truth. They have given us the strength and the inspiration to be creative, and embrace our singularity and unity at the same time. 

Morocco has come a long way towards gender equality since its independence. The 2011 constitutional reform was one of the most prominent changes to ensure gender equality in constitutional rights. 

It is only fair to mention that Morocco still has a long road ahead to solve its gender inequality issues, especially on a social level.