Casablanca- Young, female Moroccan journalists, trained by American ONG, Global Girl Media (GGM), released an insightful documentary on rape in Morocco entitled, “Breaking the Silence about Sexual Harassment: Moroccans Speak Out!”. In this documentary, victims of rape from all corners of the kingdom share their personal experiences with the public.
According to Rajaà Hammadi, one of the girls who directed the documentary, the latter not only aims to raise awareness on the nature of this issue, but also presents some solutions to it, such as family and school education.
“We are 24 girls working on this project,” explains Rajaà, “and we’d like to send a message to society to show that sexual harassment is an abnormality, a dangerous phenomenon that has to be eradicated.”
Sexual harassment is another phenomenon that is increasingly becoming an overt behavior in Moroccan streets. “I was on the way back home when I saw a guy heading straight towards me,” narrates one of the victims of sexual harassment in the documentary, “He then placed his hand on my chest. At that very moment, I was so shocked that I didn’t know what was going on,” she continued.
The indifference that Moroccan society displays towards phenomena like sexual harassment is also one disturbing factor behind the increase in number of victims. Here is an illustration drawn from the experience of one of the victims featured on the same documentary:
“I was on my way back home that day. A stranger grabbed me from my hand. I told him I was married and had children, and implored him to let me go. He said he had heard that tape repeatedly from other girls and that he wouldn’t let me. I shouted aloud for help, but none of those who noticed me and knew that was being harassed cared about me. It’s like they all thought, ‘That is her own business.’ While I was wrestling helplessly to free myself from his grab, he pulled me harder this time, took a knife out of his pocket and stabbed me in my stomach.”
In Morocco, there seems to be a discrepancy between the condemnatory institutional discourses on rape and sexual harassment and the actions taken by the same institutions to end them. While civil society and NGOs are an exception, decision makers in the kingdom seem to take the issue less seriously, sluggishly probing what is crystal-clear.
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