By Omar Bihmidine
By Omar Bihmidine
Morocco World News
Sidi Ifni, Morocco, December 9, 2012
More than 210.000 pregnant Moroccan women are calling on Abdlilah Benkirane, Morocco’s head of government, to legalize their pregnancies. As the phenomenon is growing more rampant, such women have begun ringing warning bells, especially as the babies they give birth to usually end up becoming street children with no basic rights.
Such women bear different stories behind their illicit pregnancy. While some of them have fallen prey to empty promises of marriage from irresponsible men, others admit that they have been seduced into indulging in a sexual relationship. Whatever the story, the common denominator is that they continue to suffer day in and day out because of the merciless society where they live.
In spite of the sympathy and understanding evinced by some associations that defend the rights of women, these women still feel alienated in this society where they are looked upon as “impure and dirty”. Owing to lack of maternity centers in Morocco, a number of these women have recourse to the street, the last resort, where they rear their babies and live on beggary.
Feeling crestfallen and neglected, some of these women turn to prostitution to earn a living because they feel compelled to provide their babies with some basic needs, such as food, clothing, education, health. Others have chosen to work as maids, especially after their families have left them stranded.
Upon the disrepute illicit marriage usually brings about, some of these women instantly head for associations that can claim their children’s biological father, recognize their rights of motherhood and help them overcome the turmoil. In the same vein, these women have recently called on the government to integrate them socially.
Rajae Elmaskouri, a social activist, has attributed the frequent occurrence of undesired pregnancies to the absence of sex education. Elmaskouri explains that these women “have not chosen illicit pregnancies out of their own accord. They have rather fallen prey to the ignorance that still characterizes this ‘patriarchal’ society.”