Zakia Salime


The February 20th movement shows new modes of engagement with feminism, despite a striking absence of feminist organizations from the protest movement. Nevertheless, and in sharp contrast with most accounts that posit the irrelevance of feminism for Moroccan youth’s identifications and political subjectivities, I argue that feminism has not only penetrated the social imaginary of a new generation of activists, but has also informed their practices. What kind of tension does this appropriation of feminism by the youth of February 20th bring about with traditional feminist circles? Does this high visibility of women in February 20th indicate the rise of a new feminism? I will first briefly locate February 20th in a genealogy of feminist activism in Morocco showing places of friction, influence and tensions. Second, I will provide some indications of what I call a new feminism. Third, I will analyze the gender dynamics among the various components of February 20th, notably the secular and Islamist. I will conclude by sketching a new map of protests led by women and not necessarily intelligible under the old cartography of feminism.

Author Biography

Zakia Salime is Associate Professor, Sociology & Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University.