The statistics related to gender-based discrimination in Morocco show that policymakers still need to increase efforts to combat the prevalence of violence against women.
Rabat – A lengthy report from the High Commission of Planning (HCP) showcased the prevalence of several types of violence against women in Morocco, including domestic violence.
The 142-page report on Morocco’s implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) devoted a whole section to gender equality and the progress the country has made in the field.
The report showed some remarkable changes in terms of improving gender equality, but indicated that the country’s institutions must increase efforts to combat domestic violence and sexual harassment against women in Morocco.
The document reported an overall decrease in violence against women based on searches and surveys that the HCP carried out between 2009 and 2019.
The rate of violence against women aged between 18 and 64 decreased to 57 % in 2019 compared to 63% in 2009.
The statistics show that psychological violence against women dropped from 58% in 2009 to 49% in 2019. Physical violence decreased from 15% to 13% during the same period.
Economic and sexual violence, however, recorded a notable increase. Economic violence increased from 8% in 2009 to 15% in 2019, while sexual violence rose from 9% to 14% during the same period.
In rural Morocco, physical violence against women increased from 9% to 13% between 2009 and 2019.
The HCP also highlighted a remarkable decrease in violence against women in public spaces between 2009 and 2019.
According to the recent statistics, violence against women in public dropped from 33% to 13%.
However, domestic violence perpetrated by family members or marital partners affected 52% of women and girls in 2019.
The rate of marital violence increased by 46% between 2009 and 2019, with 5.3 million women aged between 15 and 74 experiencing violence from their partners.
The perpetrators are mainly boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, or romantic partners.
Married women are the largest category who reported violence, accounting for 52%. Around 59% of the victims are aged between 15 and 24.
Marital violence is most prevalent among women with “average education (54%) and unemployed women (56%).”
The HCP report found that psychological violence tops the list with 43% of women (15-74) experiencing this sort of violence from their partners in 2019.
Between 2009 and 2019, sexual violence from a third party against women aged 15-74 increased from 4.3% to 8.5% in Morocco.
Some 10.5% of victims of sexual violence experience such crimes in educational and training spaces (16.2% in rural areas and 9.3% in urban areas).
Sexual harassment also increased by 50% in 2019.
In working spaces, 15% of women were victims of psychological or economic violence.
Despite the alarming numbers, the report lauded a set of reforms Morocco launched to combat violence against women.
The report recalled the approach Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) launched last year to assist women exposed to gender-based violence.
In 2019, DGSN introduced support units for women and girls who experienced violence.
The units seek to provide psychological support and guidance victims.
The report also mentioned Morocco’s decision to implement Law 103-13 against gender discrimination.
Morocco enacted Law 103-13 in September 2018 to criminalize sexual harassment, assault in public spaces, and cybercrime.
Feminists and activists have long argued that the law contains loopholes due to the absence of a legal framework that would accompany victims during the reporting process.