Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Tara Deubel, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Carla VandeWeerd, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Linda Whiteford, Ph.D., MPH


gender-based violence, women’s rights, civil society, social services


Utilizing a gender-based violence approach, this study investigated service delivery realities for a Moroccan women’s centre serving unwed mothers and their babies. Primary research methods included participant observation and semi-structured interviews (n=20) with unwed mothers and centre staff. This study aimed to determine what factors lead mothers to seek assistance, types of assistance offered, and challenges and future opportunities for services. Findings indicate a lack of social support to mothers, lack of social and economic support for the centre and reduced service capacity, and the use of deceit in interactions between mothers and staff rooted in cultural notions of shame. Future opportunities for program development and sustainability are discussed. This work hopes to contribute to a richer understanding of gender-based violence in local contexts through the investigation of unwed mother’s experiences of gender-based violence in Moroccan society and how these experiences impact the reality and capabilities of social service provision.