Morocco is an incredibly beautiful place, unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. Just leaving the lingering Minnesota winter and stepping into a land of warmth and palm trees was a gift. When I arrived on Sunday evening I walked around the plaza by the train station in Rabat where people had gathered to enjoy the last hours of the weekend. Many people – men & women -were dressed in the traditional djelaba, children chased pigeons & balloon sellers added to the festivities. It felt like a very peaceful place.
On Monday morning we got to work and despite the differences – and the peacefulness – on the surface, the issue of violence against women is the same in Morocco as it is around the world – and worse than in a lot of places.
- A government study there showed that in 2011 almost 63 percent of women in Morocco ages 18- 64 had been victims of some form of violence in the preceding year. 63 percent in one year!
- 55 percent of these acts of violence were committed by the victim’s husband & only 3 percent of the wives reported the violence.