Aicha Ech Channa

Ashoka Fellow
Casablanca, Morocco
Fellow Since 2010

Citation

This profile was prepared when Aicha Ech Channa was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2010.
The New Idea
Over the last quarter century, Aicha has been a tireless advocate for the social inclusion and equal treatment of unwed mothers. A pioneer of the field, Aicha has built a nationally relevant support model for unwed mothers and institutionalized legal reforms to support their recognition in society.

Aicha’s Association Solidarité Féminine (ASF) has offered thousands of unwed mothers a shelter where they and their children are supported unconditionally. Approximately 100 women per year also participate in a three-year program, where they are offered psychological counseling and medical treatment as well as vocational programs which teach them new skills to become better prepared to enter the job market, thereby, gaining autonomy and a steady source of income. ASF also provides day care centers, both while women are preparing for future employment and after they have achieved it.

Beyond directly serving unwed mothers, Aicha has developed a dual strategy to increase paternal recognition and support for children born out of wedlock. She advocates for legal reform that requires fathers to take paternity tests, while she also mediates between mothers and fathers about the importance of parenting roles.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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