International Interview

Why public areas remain a place of torment for Moroccan women

In the summer of 2017 two videos showing sexual assaults on women in Morocco, one in Tangiers, the other in Casablanca, caused outrage in the North African country. Yet though the government has for years been promising a law to protect women, progress has been slow. Academic Safaa Monqid explains to Rachida El Azzouzi how women are still excluded from public areas in Morocco and the Arab world in general.

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A video published on social media in August 2017 caused a sensation and showed the prevalence of sexual harassment in modern-day Morocco. In it one sees a young woman being attacked by four teenage boys in the back of a bus in Casablanca in broad daylight. No one tries to intervene, neither the driver nor fellow passengers. The bus carries on moving as the attackers touch and grope the victim and strip the clothes from the top half of her body while mocking and insulting her.

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