Women in Morocco and accross the globe have reacted with revulsion and horror after a state run TV channel showed viewers how to mask the physical signs of domestic abuse and “carry on with your daily life.”
The tutorial, which aired during the channel’s daily “Sabahiyat” program, was broadcast last Wednesday – just two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
In response, hundreds of women signed a petition demanding that the TV station apologize. The petition also called for sanctions against 2M.
The station attempted a weak defense on Facebook, writing that the tutorial was “completely inappropriate and has an editorial error of judgment in view of the sensitivity and the gravity of the subject of violence against women.”
Violence against women is a serious problem in Morocco, and despite amendments made in 2004 to the nation’s “Family Code,” domestic violence is not considered illegal. Moroccan lawmakers passed a bill addressing the issue in March, but the legislation ultimately failed to make a difference.
After more than “ten years of human and material resources invested in this effort by different international, governmental and NGO actors, I don’t know how much money spent, how many conferences, how many roundtables, how many training workshops, this draft law does not…respond to the voiced needs of women victims of violence in Morocco,” argues Stephanie Willman Bordat, founder of Mobilizing for Rights Associates.
One of the bill’s largest failures is that it does not criminalize marital rape, an issue that arises in arranged marriages.
In March, an anonymous Moroccan woman told Newsweek that the rapes and beatings began shortly after her arranged and forced marriage. “The whole time I just thought about killing myself,” she said. “There is no law that will help me sue my husband for the things he did. So he always gets away with it.”
Despite backwards legislation like this, Morocco is often cited as one of the most progressive Muslim nations in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. This is just one more example of why the Muslim culture simply cannot coexist with America’s ideals of freedom, civil rights, and democracy.
Editor’s note: Parts of the Islamic world are unimaginably oppressive to women. Morocco has always been considered a more moderate brand of Islam, and a place where it is safe and fun to take a vacation. But make no mistake they genuinely think differently from us.