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For more than 23 years, Khadija says her husband raped her, nearly every day. And her case is far from unique, according to counselors at the Annajda Center in Rabat, one of over 1,000 associations in Morocco working to advance women's rights in the Muslim majority kingdom.Last month, Morocco's Parliament passed a long-sought law on combating violence against women, recognizing some forms of abuse for the first time and criminalizing some forms of domestic violence.Women's rights vary across North Africa, and Morocco took a big step toward improving them with a 2004 family code that raised the marriage age for women to 18 and granted women more marriage rights.The survey, conducted in 2016 and released last month, found that 62 percent of the men interviewed believe women must tolerate violence in order to preserve family unity.The law also does not criminalize marital rape – so women like Khadija cannot demand legal protection from their husbands.There are fewer than 10 shelters in all of Morocco, according to Human Rights Watch, and few receive any government funding.
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