Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Getting a divorce in Spain: legal pluralism, gender and migration  


Eva Evers Rosander (Uppsala University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the application of Moroccan or Spanish family law systems by Moroccan migrant women who want a divorce from their Moroccan husbands. I will present a detailed case as an example of legal pluralism and multicultural policies in Spain today.

Paper long abstract:

This paper deals with legal pluralism and multiculturalism from a gender perspective. The fact that the reformed Moroccan family law (Mudawwana) and the Spanish Family Code co-exist in Spain offer maltreated Moroccan women migrants a chance to get a Spanish divorce by the application of the Integrated Law of Gender Violence (2004), something which have consequences for migrant women's chances of rapidly getting residence and work permits in their own names. They get the permits independently of their ex-husbands, from whom a divorce valid in Morocco according to Mudawwana often in practice results more difficult to achieve.

In this paper I present a detailed case of a Moroccan woman's marriage and divorce career during the five years that she has lived in Spain. I include her encounters with the Spanish legal and administrative authorities and her Moroccan family's efforts to get a divorce for their daughter in Casablanca. This example illustates the many and complex factors such as religious and/ or secular ideologies and political pragmatism which together shape the conditions of the Moroccan female migrants' legal rights to divorce.

Panel W069
Law matters: mapping legal diversity