Footage of sexual harassment in Morocco sparks fury online
Sexual harassment filmed on the streets of Morocco and posted online has sparked outrage across the North African country.
The footage shows a young woman walking in broad daylight in Tangier when she was approached by two men, one filming the scene and the other lifting up her skirt and grabbing her. The duo then run away laughing.
The authorities have arrested a 15-year-old boy suspected of filming the video, according to French-language news sites including AFP.
Security forces are looking for the aggressor, the media reports said.
Instagram page 7achak.maroc, which describes itself as being dedicated to exposing and fighting sexual harassment, shared news of the incident with its 38,000 followers, saying the video was “irrefutable evidence provided by the aggressor himself”.
Comments left below the video by Instagram users included “makes me want to vomit” and “imagine how she must feel right now”.
The incident sparked a wider debate among Morocco’s population about safety on the streets, with many expressing dismay that women continued to be the targets of objectification and harassment.
“Despite the existence of legislation that punishes [sexual harassment], it is not severe enough hence the importance of the social media outrage, which we hope will shed light on this case and allow the victim some justice,” a feminist activist told Morocco World News.
“The perpetrator seems proud of his premeditated act. He therefore deserves for his face to be widely shared on social media, and for people to identify him and report him to competent authorities.”
Moroccan law only recently started penalising those who commit street harassment, following the passing of Law 103-13 in September 2018.
However, for the legislation to be enforced a complaint needs to be filed by the victim - a rare occurrence, as many survivors do not feel confident that their case will be taken seriously by the authorities.