Minister Welcomes Morocco’s Efforts Against Domestic Violence

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More than half of Moroccan women reported experiencing domestic violence in 2019.

Rabat – Morocco’s minister of solidarity is satisfied with the country’s measures to protect women and children from domestic violence, especially during the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown. 

The Minister of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality, and the Family, Jamila El Moussali, highlighted these measures during a video conference on Monday. 

The EuroMed Feminist Initiative organized the video conference with Jordan’s Ministry of Development to open regional dialogue on efforts to end violence against women and children. 

Morocco’s efforts, El Moussali outlined, include a national digital awareness campaign and the establishment of 65 centers to receive victims of domestic violence. Both measures consider how to help victims while maintaining preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19. 

The “Kolona Maak” platform has also been an essential element of Morocco’s anti-domestic violence campaigns. The National Union of Moroccan Women (UNFM), chaired by Princess Lalla Meryem, launched the digital platform in January. The platform’s call centers are open 24/7 and are dedicated to listening, supporting, and guiding women and children in precarious situations.

The initiative directs victims to the competent authorities and offers them advice on employment, training, business creation opportunities, and income-generating projects.

Read also: Remote Learning: Teacher Saves Moroccan Mother from Domestic Violence

Morocco’s efforts to prevent violence against women and children heavily emphasize economic empowerment and education, the minister continued. 

The “Tamkine” program, for example, focuses on three axes: access to economic opportunities, education and training, as well as an appropriate, sustainable environment that fosters women’s economic empowerment while protecting and improving their rights.

The minister also celebrated “government decisions” regarding women’s health during COVID-19. She added that “emergency measures,” particularly at the levels of communication, support, and intervention allow for the improvement of living conditions for women and children and guarantee their rights. 

King Mohammed VI’s $12 billion economic recovery plan will also be beneficial to women, she continued, with the creation of an investment fund to support essential productive sectors and the establishment of universal social coverage.

El Moussali concluded by calling on all stakeholders to focus on achieving social justice by developing and improving policies and programs related to the protection of women and children against violence.

Confronting domestic violence in Morocco

Morocco has certainly improved its approach to the issue of domestic violence, but statistics suggest the issue requires further social change and support from policymakers. 

Moroccan courts process 17,000 cases of violence against women annually.

In December 2019, Morocco’s High Commission for Planning (HCP) reported that 52% of Moroccan women have experienced domestic violence. According to the report, unemployed and less educated women are the most affected.

The report stresses that sexual violence is increasing at alarming rates. The rate of Moroccan women who have experienced sexual violence increased from 9% in 2009 to 14% in 2019.

Figures in 2020 will likely match those of 2019, if not worsen. Along with immense economic and social challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown undoubtedly exacerbated the issue of domestic violence in Morocco. 

Multiple Moroccan NGOs have warned of the threats women and children face under lockdown. In April, Morocco’s public prosecution office called for a hotline to receive domestic violence complaints, citing concerns of an increase in abuse during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Earlier that month, Morocco joined a UN initiative against the global rise in domestic violence during lockdown

Lockdown measures in Morocco have eased, for the most part, but the issue of domestic violence still prevails.

As news of pedophilia and sexual assault continue to make national headlines, the country must continue to focus on fighting the scourge of violence against women and children. 

Read also: NGOs Condemn Surge of Violence Against Women in Morocco

Source: moroccoworldnews.com