Violence against women and girls constitutes a serious violation of human rights. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 37% of women who had a partner at any time in the past in the Eastern Mediterranean region experienced physical and/or sexual violence from the partner at some point in their lives.
In the Arab States, more than half of the families where violence is prevalent, women are the victims. In some cases, women are the most victims of domestic violence.
Although Lebanon has only 6 percent of domestic violence, according to the Arab Barometer survey, 82 percent of victims are women, whereas in Yemen, where domestic violence is higher at 30 percent of victims are women. The results of the survey show that violence against women is more prevalent in Morocco and Egypt, where it is prevalent among more than 70 percent of families in each of them.
Despite Morocco’s efforts to combat violence against women, this phenomenon is still pervasive within Moroccan families and women suffer from its physical, legal, economic and psychological repercussions.
Women in Morocco are marginalized, especially in villages with high rates of illiteracy and unemployment. According to the High Commissioner for Statistics, 14.8% of girls between the ages of 15 and 24 are illiterate.
A government report on the results of the National Research on Violence against Women in Morocco revealed that more than as many other forms of violence as in the region, including “honor killings”; early, forced and temporary marriages; sexual harassment in public places; and harmful practices like female genital mutilation, in addition, 54.4 percent of Moroccan women have been abused.
There is no doubt that oppression of women is a cultural problem, not only in Morocco, but also in many Arab countries, where certain ideas consider women to be the property, are the result of cultural and social legacies as per rights associations in Morocco.
Despite their participation in protests and their access to decision-making positions within government institutions and Parliament, Moroccan women are always subjected to violence. “The crisis is cultural and laws cannot be automatically resolved. Rights associations also assert that the persecution of women is instilled in children from an early age by the school.
When a man kills his wife in any country in the world, it is considered a crime. Indeed, the murders of women because of their sexual affiliation by the husband, the ex-husband or the fiancé, bears a name in most of the world’s labels describing it as a crime and in which the woman is called a victim. As for some Arab countries, when a man kills his wife or slaughters his daughter, and even before knowing the reason, many, both men and women, consider it a disgraceful behavior that prompted him to kill her. Thus, the victim becomes convicted and the murderer becomes wronged and deserving of sympathy.
According to a report prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and issued last year, the upward trend in homicides in North Africa is concentrated in only two cities, Algeria and Casablanca, Morocco.
Khdijah Al-Riyadi, Coordinator of the “Moroccan Coordination for Human Rights”, confirms the findings of the National Research Report, which states that more than 54% of Moroccan women have experienced violence. She added that the true figure are higher than that , since the report targeted women over the age of 18, “stressing that” women under the age of 18 are also exposed to violence and in significant situations.
Legal frameworks must be defined and laws that protect women should be implemented
Violence against women is an old phenomenon that has become more intense in recent years, but attention to the subject has become universal and has become the focus of international media and human rights associations.
Moroccan women’s organisations have successfully broken the silence about domestic violence against women and have led the authorities to engage in efforts to combat this phenomenon. However, civil society needs a government mechanism with broad powers to protect women.
Like many Arab states, Morocco does not have a law on violence against women. The President of Justice Organsation explains that “there is a national anti-violence strategy developed by the Ministry of Social Development, but it is not embodied in a law that clarifies the special protection mechanisms for women, means of treatment and ways of raising awareness”. Social actors complained about the lack of financial resources provided by the Government.