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Moroccan Writer Rita El Khayat Wins Prize in Rome

Moroccan author Rita El Khayat received the Stand Out Woman International Prize on Wednesday night in Rome along with a “special mention” for her dedication to the national and local liberation of women.

A passionate advocate for women’s rights, the Moroccan anthropologist, poet, and psychiatrist was honored for her outstanding scientific and creative accomplishments as well as her national and Mediterranean advocacy for women’s concerns.

As prolific writer, she is the author of 350 articles and 36 books, such as “Female Arab World,” “Seven Gardens,” “Psychiatry, culture and politics,” and “Scheherazade’s daughters.”

“This award is the result of a long-term effort,” El Khayat said, “and builds a luminous bridge of hope and love over the Mare Nostrum, strengthening the ties between Morocco and Italy through the values of human rights.”

“More than just a cause, the defence of gender equality is a lifelong struggle that I passionately pursue for the protection and enhancement of women, who are capable of rising to the challenges and actively contributing to the development of society,” she added.

The Moroccan activist also praised the “positive and reassuring” changes that have occurred in Morocco for women under King Mohammed VI’s directives, highlighting that the Sovereign has made it a top priority to advance and defend women’s rights ever since He came to power.

Yassine Dadi, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Rome emphasized the “ambitious and proactive” changes Morocco undertook under the wise guidance of the King, which have significantly improved the position of Moroccan women.

“Stand out Woman” honors “high-profile women and men, united in building a better society, driven by altruism and a generous humanitarian spirit, which has enabled them to face major challenges and sacrifice themselves on behalf of vulnerable groups,” according to Italian activist Anna Maria Gandolfi, who presided over the award ceremony. She praised El Khayat’s dedication to women and her inspiring career as an example for the next generation.

The “Stand out Woman” Expo2015 event was the idea of American Beau Toskich, a passionate advocate for women’s rights.

Giving voice to “women who carry out extraordinary actions in their ordinary lives” is the goal of the event, which is organized by the groups “PromAzioni360” and “Femmes Culture et Territoire.”