As in many other Muslim countries, increasing numbers of women in Morocco are entering the labour market. Among these women, there are many who wear headscarves. However, there would appear to be an unwritten rule in Moroccan radio and television that women in headscarves should not be employed in these media. Siham Ouchtou reports
Many Moroccan women wear headscarves, and the number has increased considerably in recent decades. It’s a tendency that can be seen in the workplace, and especially in the media, where a growing number of women with headscarves work. Some of them have been covering their heads since they started their professional careers; others only chose to do so at a later stage. But they all pay a high price for their decision, especially those who work in radio or television.
Halima Abrouk is one of them. She’s been through journalism school and now works for a Moroccan newspaper, but she originally wanted to work for radio or television. As she told Qantara.de, “I had hoped to find a place in the audio-visual media, but when I graduated, it quickly became painfully clear to me that that would be very difficult, if not impossible, as long as I wore a headscarf. This is especially true in television, where, aside from a few editorial areas, no-one with a headscarf can get a job. You certainly never see one on screen.”
Abrouk had to give up her dream of working in her chosen area of the media profession, and she took a job in print, where, she says, there are no restrictions on women who wear headscarves. But Abrouk still doesn’t know why such women can’t get jobs in radio.