Morocco got its independence on November 18, 1956. That is a fact that has been written in the history of Moroccan culture. A fact that one cannot look up on Morocco, is that women had a great part in the resistance. In Moroccan culture, women are recognized neither as important agents of history, nor as reliable reporters and interpreters of history. In the film, “Still Ready: Three Women from Moroccan Resistance”, three women who were apart of the resistance report how their involvement was not only important but the main reason Morocco is Independent.
Ghalia Moujhide, Saadia Bouhaddou, and Rabiaa Taibi, are the names of each woman who gave their lives for their home. Using these three women unique story I will tell what happened when Moroccan women took on “men’s roles” in the independence movement, as well as to explain the relationship between that chapter in history and the roles of women in present day Morocco. Ghalia Moujhide was the first woman that appeared on the film to tell her story. She relived her past on top of a roof top. Since the viewer could see her in entirety a long shot must had been taken during the recordeing of the film.
She starts her story not with childhood memories but with the resistance. The vewier is drawn in immediately to her story. Behind her voice you can feel the pain of the past seeping through. Just as like the other two women Ghalia transported weapons as well as delivered messages. Through Ghalia had similar jobs as the other women her experience was the most traumatic. Ghalia was the only women to go in to great detail about being caught; sharing a very painful memory with the viewer. Ghalia had been taken from her home and had been beat for days.
The beatings were so bad that Ghalia suffered long time damages. During the interview Ghalia coughed so badly and her hands could no longer close properly. With lifelong damages to her hands she could not find work. Saadia Bouhaddou starts her story with her childhood. Since this is an older film the documentary contrasted between desaturated and saturated colors. The use of this technique gave Saadia a more intense feeling to her words. Saadia’s childhood was never what one would call delightful.
Within the ages of eight, ten, and thirteen, Saadia had been engaged, married, and a mother. Her life had started early and was not by choice. She had been told what to do from her father and then her husband. When the Algerian resistance started it was then that Saadia was given a choice; she chooses to join and dedicate herself for the cause. Some of Saadia’s important involvements included transporting weapons and messages. Even though Saadia was doing dangers jobs she was free. She did not have the title of a wife or mother but a member of the movement.
This newfound freedom for Saadia was quickly taken away after Morocco became Independent by her husband. Saadia tells the viewer that years later she divorced her husband. Rabiaa Taibi’s story is different from Saadia. When the viewer first encounters Radiaa she is sitting comfortably on the floor of her home. Telling by how close Rabbia appeared to the viewer a telephoto lens may have been used in the camera. She starts her story with how her father had left when she was three. She speaks of her education which consisted of embroidery and knitting.
Then Rabiaa starts with how she became involved with the resistance. As, a girl Rabiaa saw a newsletter detailing colonization in Tunisia and began to send money to the movement there. So when Moroccan resistance started she joined. Her major duties included transporting guns and bombs. Rabiaa was so excited by her memories that she tells the viewer how she transported the guns and bombs, in her basket with her onions and mints. Once Morocco had its independence, Rabiaa continued to work in the movement.
As well as working in an Algerian hospital for twenty-seven years. Ghalia Moujhide, Saadia Bouhaddou, and Rabiaa Taibi, are a part of an historical time. These women shaped the future for the present day Morocco, but why has there been no change for women. During the time that these women were involved in the movement they had no literary education, men were favored and dominant. Women had no voice in Morocoo before independence. They had low paying jobs if any because men were favored over women in every aspect.
So when the resistance movement began and men realized that women could be very constructive; men were more than ready to give women equal rights. The women were good enough to hide bombs, transport guns, and deliver messages, but after independence they were once forgotten and not good enough to receive equality. Rabiaa states, “Fighter from the resistance aren’t given value. Especially women. I don’t know why”. Women in Morocco who have no jobs or little income, have been divorced and live in single parent homes cannot maintain their living standards.
These are present day problems, which were also problems in the past. Ghalia was injured during her involvement which enabled her to support her children. Saadia divorced her husband after her involvement because he wanted to take her freedom back; leaving her to struggle financially. Rabiaa’s father left her family while she was young leaving her mother to provide. After, everything these women gave up and are still living with why they have not only been recognized but giving more respect and more equality.
The general definition of a Woman: is an adult female. The definition of Resistance is the refusal to accept or comply with something. The Moroccan Women did not only fight for Independence but for the right to refuse that they were more than adult females. The film, “Still Ready: Three Women from Moroccan Resistance”, give not only the three women that are recognized a voice but every women in Morocco from the past to the future. Their involvement proved that women can stand side by side with men and be given just as many rights that they have.