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2012-03-09

Maghreb marks International Women's Day

Maghreb countries marked International Women's Day amid demonstrations and marches for rights and reforms.

Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who heads new United Nations body "UN Women", visited Morocco for the occasion, attending an event at a school in Rabat.

Tunisians, meanwhile, rallied in front of the Constituent Assembly headquarters to demand protection for the rights of women, freedom of expression and belief.

"I've come to tell our elected leaders that the rights of Tunisian women must be written into the constitution," Jelila Bellalouna, a religious teacher in Tunis, told AFP.

In Algeria, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika delivered an address in which he noted that this year's celebration of International Women's Day comes just months ahead of the 50th anniversary of Algerian independence. He pointed to the contribution by women to the fight for independence, saying that even with the progress made since 1962, "much work remains at all levels...to create a climate propitious for [women's] participation".

In Mauritania, hundreds of women in rallied in Nouakchott to protest job inequality and rising food prices.

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