Halima Oulami, the president and founding member of El Amane grew up in Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, Marrakech and began showing interest the field of human rights at an early age.

Pursuing a degree of geography at university, she found herself back in her childhood neighborhood as she was preparing a paper on the situation of women in that quarter. During her research, Oulami noticed the disadvantages women in Sidi Youssef Ben Ali face in their everyday life and was shocked about the prevalence of violence against women. In almost every field of life, i.e. education, social and married life, women were underprivileged.

At this time, not a single women’s rights association existed in Sidi Youssef Ben Ali.

After delivering her paper, H. Oulami started searching possibilities how to fight for the interests of women and girls of the quarter.Halima Oulami, founder and president of El Amane

Between 2000 and 2003, she guaranteed the training of 70 girls by enrolling them at the local Youth Center for a vocational training in couture after they had abandoned their education at the end of their preparatory level.

In 2003, Oulami decided to professionalize her work by creating the first registered women’s association in Sidi Youssef Ben Ali.

Together with four colleagues, three women and one man, she went to the local authorities to register the new association. This was where another challenge began - the battle of convincing the conservative authorities that the quarter needed a women’s association.

Yet, the group of young supporters of women’s rights proved they had stamina and were rewarded with success – the creation of El Amane Association pour le Développement de la Femme. Shortly after, the organization started their work by organizing sensitization campaigns and offering free lessons about human rights at the local Youth Center. From the beginning, the work of the Association relied on the support of many volunteers who supported the good cause.

In 2004, only one year after its creation, El Amane moved into its own premises and was thus able to offer the first Vocational Training in the field of couture. Furthermore, regular Literacy Courses were held to improve the educational capacities of the women and girls of the quarter.
In 2005, the Listening Center first opened its doors to help women in difficult situations and offer them psychological and legal advice.

In the following years, the association succeeded in enlarging its services step by step through vocational training in various fields and other activities such as sensitization campaigns in remote and rural areas, advocacy for women’s rights on a national level and holding conferences for students. The association raised awareness for numerous topics, such as the prevalence of violence against women, human rights (particularly women’s rights) and medical issues i.e. the fight against HIV/AIDS and cancer prevention.

With the creation oft the Centre d’Hébergement in Loudaya in 2012, El Amane was able to offer support to women in distress who needed more than the advice the Listening Center was able to give, notably a safe environment and temporary place to live.
As of today, the Association El Amane improves the lives of women on many levels.

In addition to the numerous kinds of vocational training and other courses for women, AEDF organizes events and offers support to encourage the creation of fellow women’s organizations.

Moreover, the El Amane is part of a national network to advocate for women’s rights on a national level and maintains close contact and cooperation with national and international non-governmental organizations, local authorities, schools and other partners.

Several times a year, AEDF organizes events of various kinds on the topic of women’s rights.

The Centre d’Hébergement has expanded its capacities and is able to admit numerous women in distress each month.

Association El Amane pour le Développement de la Femme
Complexe Social pour la Femme et l'Enfant, Avenue Moussa Ibn Noussaire, Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, Marrakech 4000, Morocco
aedfmarrakech@yahoo.fr — +212 5 24 40 43 79 — GSM : +212 6 68 16 47 03

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