Filmmaker: Loubna ElYounssi

I lost everything because I got married young. I blame myself above all - but I blame my father and society. There's no law to protect us.

Zineb Elghrib,  divorcee

Moroccan family law is built around the Moudawana, a family code that governs marriage, divorce, child custody, maintenance and the division of assets.

Adapting well-established traditions, it has been in existence since the 1950s; but, historically, marriage - and divorce - had always been in the hands of men.

In recent decades, however, the Moudawana has faced pressure from civil society groups and women's rights campaigners to introduce reforms, prompting King Mohammed VI to appoint a commission to examine its principles and practice in October 2003.

Its findings have resulted in more rights for women and updates to many of its rules, particularly in introducing new types of divorce, including "irreconcilable differences".

In Marriage and Divorce in Morocco we look at a host of areas affected by the family code including registration of marriage, division of assets, maintenance, domestic violence, rape, and the effects on men who find themselves in abusive relationships.

We hear from lawyers, judges, social commentators and also ex-wives and ex-husbands - like Fadma Amzil, who had a Fatiha marriage, but which was not registered with the civil authorities.

"I only had a Fatiha marriage," she says. "He got married to another woman and their marriage was registered. My situation would have been different if my marriage had been registered."

We also speak to critics of the code who argue that some discrimination has survived the 2004 reforms.

We hear from the family of Amina Filali, a 16-year-old whose case grabbed headlines when she took her own life after being forced to marry her alleged rapist.

A loophole in the law, penal code article 475, meant a rapist could evade prosecution if he married his victim.

This film looks at the human stories behind the Moudawana, how it has modernised family law, and at the progress it still probably needs to make.

Source: Al Jazeera