Ph.D student in Law, Canadian of Moroccan origin, Fatima focuses her research upon the effectiveness of the law governing violence and harassment against women in the workplace and its impact on their lives and health, using the Moroccan context as a field for qualitative research.
Her research is carried out in an interdisciplinary framework, combining approaches from legal sociology, intersectional feminism and social sciences. Having studied social sciences, political science, management and feminism, her body of analysis is the result of a research of doctrine and literature on the subject, thus being at the crossroads of several complementary disciplines.
Her thesis is supervised by Prof. Katherine Lippel, holder of the Distinguished Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health and Safety Law, who, according to Fatima, "is an icon, she is the reference in Canada with regard to the right to health in the workplace, she masters the problem from all angles. Her teaching has opened my eyes to this new field which I am passionate about today. I am happy and proud to have had her as supervisor of both my master's thesis and my doctoral thesis".
The main objective of Fatima's research is to build a bridge to a better understanding of the role of the law governing violence against women in the workplace and to clarify the links between organizational change and that violence in order to develop prevention and protection strategies. Workplace violence must be transformed from a nameless and unproblematized condition to a social problem subject to normative control, while respecting the legal commitments of the state under international law to promote a safe, violence-free work environment for women workers.
"In my research, I am inspired by the reading of international texts and the practice in Morocco of women's rights in the workplace and on their way to work to identify the constants regarding their health and safety in the public space", says Fatima.
She is interested in the perceptions of different stakeholders in the implementation and practice of law in the world of work and in the civil society system and studies how culture influences women's socio-legal environments. She also examines the relationships between different forms of violence to better understand their impact on the health of working women.
Her research interests focus on women's rights, and she has been involved in active volunteer work and community activism to embrace and defend women's causes for greater access to social justice.
"My approach examines the strengths and weaknesses of national legal norms. Indeed, these norms are generally patriarchal in nature, and as such, do not promote respect for women's rights.
"Having laws and regulations is important, but complying with them is even more important and that's what led me to champion this cause. Laws are certainly tools for change, but it is imperative to aspire to change mentalities".
Prof. Katherine Lippel encouraged her to seize any opportunity that could advance her research by offering her the opportunity to participate and present her thesis project in 2018 at a conference of the Faculty of Law of the University of Chicoutimi and then at an international conference in Bordeaux, France on the subject of violence and harassment in the workplace as well as at several other important events.
"I cannot express enough gratitude to Prof. Katherine Lippel who has been very supportive, constantly encouraging and advising me.
"At the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social Sciences, I met some very dynamic professors and researchers who inspired me a lot, encouraged me in my studies, played a crucial role in my choice of thesis and allowed me to live an incredible and very enriching experience within the university.
Fatima plans to pursue her lifelong passion: women's rights activism.