Sexual harassment in Moroccan streets, who is to blame?

morocco world news
Sexual harassment in Moroccan streets, who is to blame?

By Nidal Chebbak

Fez – Sexual harassment has been a controversial issue in Morocco for a very long time and it still is. Different people have different opinions about the issue; some blame women for being too loose and others blame men for being unable to control and behave themselves.


As a Moroccan girl, I can very much relate to this issue as any other Moroccan girl. As I believe, every Moroccan girl/ woman is harassed every time she goes out regardless of her age, shape, color, ethnicity, background… and no matter what she wears, even if she puts on potato bags. Any girl who says the opposite is living in denial because that’s the reality we deal with every day.

Sexual harassment can vary through the constant gazes that checks every inch of the girl’s body from head to toe, the harassing words coming from every corner, the following -or as I’d prefer to call it “the tireless stalking”-, the insistence to get the girl to talk, then it can move too far to the undesired touching of her body.

Men would argue that it’s the women who give way to men to sexually harass them in the streets, especially when they aren’t wearing “decent clothes”. Many men feel that they have the right to harass a woman who is wearing revealing clothes and that this type of clothes is actually an open invitation for harassment. This type of women is labeled as loose and immoral, even if they are not. After all, what’s the fine line between decent and indecent clothes for women? As far as I have experienced, seen and heard, no matter what a woman wears, she’s still going to be harassed at some point in her usual day.

I also think that this whole issue of “indecent clothes” is just a very weak and “loose” excuse for men to carry on their horrendous habits. We are a Muslim country where almost every Muslim Moroccan prides everywhere about being a Muslim (of course, in words but rarely in practice) but still we find these horrible acts that are condemned by our religion. In Surat an-Nur, the Almighty Allah states: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That is purer for them, verily Allah is All-Aware of what they do.” (24:30). Isn’t this a verse where the Almighty Allah asks men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty? Did He by any means in this verse or in any other verse state that, well if women aren’t dressing decent enough then you shall harass them? No, He didn’t. Muslim men take pride in being Muslim, but as long as they don’t abide by this and other verses, their pride amounts to bigotry.


Categories: Africa, Morocco, Morocco

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