Empowering Women Through Land Policy Change: The “Soulaliyate” Movement in Morocco

  • Mohamed Said Saadi


This chapter illustrates how the Soulaliyate movement was able to gain limited official recognition of their right to collective land. We draw mainly on the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) to analyze the process of land policy change. The social movement framework provided additional insights into coalition formation and strategies. Our methodology is based on desk and media reviews, as well as interviews with civil society actors. The analysis supported the ACF’s hypothesis on policy change.

The analysis shows that there was a potentially strong but still nascent Pro-Women Empowerment Advocacy Coalition that supported the Soulaliyate Movement, which benefited from political opportunities provided by political openness, and socioeconomic conditions to advocate for Soulaliyate rights to land, on an equal footing with men. Thanks to collective action and strong backing of the media, this coalition forced the government to issue three ministerial circulars in favor of the Soulaliyate’s right to collective lands. However, male leaders of rural communities-who form the backbone of an Anti-Soulaliyate group of actors—fiercely resisted their implementation on the pretext of contradicting custom norms (urf). This case study also shows the lack of political will to overcome archaic and patriarchal values.


  1. ADFM. (2009a). Les femmes marocaines et les terres collectives. Rabat.Google Scholar
  2. ADFM. (2009b). Press Release, June 20, 2009.Google Scholar
  3. ADFM. (2014). Nos Propositions Pour Amender le Dahir du 27 Avril 1919. Rabat.Google Scholar
  4. ADFM, & FMAS. (2009). Communiqué, March 8, 2009.Google Scholar
  5. ADFM, & FMAS. (2012). Communiqué, April 2012.Google Scholar
  6. Authenticity and Modernity Party. (2016). Election Platform. Rabat.Google Scholar
  7. Daoudi, F. (2011). Droits fonciers des femmes au Maroc, entre complexité du système foncier et discrimination. Etudes et Essais du Centre J Berque, 4, 2011.Google Scholar
  8. El Alaoui, M. (2002). Etude juridique des terres collectives. PNUD, Rabat.Google Scholar
  9. Ferrié, J. N., & Dupret, B. (2011). La nouvelle architecture constitutionnelle et les trois désamorçages de la vie politique marocaine. Confluences Mediterrannée. l’Harmattan.Google Scholar
  10. Kübler, D. (2011). Understanding Policy Change with the Advocacy Coalition Framework: An Application to Swiss Drug Policy. Journal of European Public Policy, 8, 4.Google Scholar
  11. MacCarthy, J. D. (1996). Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framing. In D. McAdam, J. D. MaCarthy, & M. N. Zald (Eds.), Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Meyer, D. S. (2004). Protest and Political Opportunities. Annual Review of Sociology, 30, 125–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ministère de l’Intérieur. (2014, June). Dialogue National sur les terres Collectives (pp. 89) (Arabic). Rabat.Google Scholar
  14. Programme Échanges et Partenariats. (2010, June). Les terres collectives au centre du développement local au Maroc.Google Scholar
  15. Rignall, K. (2012, October). Theorizing Sovereignty in Empty Land: The Land Tenure Implications of Concentrated Solar Power in Pre-Saharan Morocco (Global Land Grabbing ii). Ithaca: Cornell University.Google Scholar
  16. Transparency-Maroc. Annual Reports.Google Scholar
  17. Ward, M. (2015). Social Movement Micromobilization. Retrieved from http://sociopedia.isa
  18. World Bank. (2008). Property Markets for Economic Growth in Morocco. Washington: World Bank.Google Scholar

Newspapers and Other Media

  1. As-Sabah. (2016, April 4).Google Scholar
  2. “Dossiers de Tadla” Newspaper. (2012, July).Google Scholar
  3. L’Economiste Newspaper. (2012, October 18).Google Scholar
  4. Hufftpost. (26/01/2018).Google Scholar
  5. MAP Communiqué. (2014, March 20).Google Scholar
  6. MAP Communiqué. (2014, March 7).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed Said Saadi
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Supérieur de Commerce et d’Administration des EntreprisesCasablancaMorocco

Personalised recommendations