“My work empowers me,” says Fatima Sadiqi, an author and professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies in Morocco. “I became a scholar on language and gender because as a woman I was sensitive to the power of language in a multilingual context like ours.”
Fatima is a pioneer in her field. She founded the first Moroccan Centre for Studies and Research on Women in 1998; the first graduate program on Gender Studies in 2000 at the University of Fes; and the Isis Centre for Women and Development, a women’s NGO working on Family Law reforms and women’s rights in Morocco. As part of Vital Voices’ Policy Advocates program, she worked on an advocacy campaign to reform the family code and abolish underage girls’ marriage in Morocco.
In 2009, she was elected President of the National Union of Women’s Associations, and in the same year, she co-founded the International Institute for Languages and Cultures with her husband, Moha Ennaji.
Through her teaching and books, Fatima has helped countless students learn about linguistics and women’s issues. “I like to see the enthusiasm of my students; I feel I inspire them and that feeling inspires me,” she said.
Fatima herself learns through her writing, a “continuous discovery; what I write allows me to know myself better. It is a thrilling experience.”
Fatima was also appointed by Kofi Anan as a member of the UN Council for Development Policy (ECOSOC), and was appointed by the king of Morocco as a member of the Administrative Board of the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture (IRCAM).