Rabat – The persistence of pervasive patriarchy and chauvinism in Morocco continues. With over 50 percent of violence committed against women inflicted by their husbands, the findings of the 2016 Violence Against Women annual report by the National Observatory are chilling.The most prevalent form of violence against women in Morocco is physical. The majority of those affected, experienced violence within their relationships. Women aged between 18 and 30 are the most vulnerable, as more than 40 percent have been physically assaulted, followed by women between 31 and 45.Public places are home to greater numbers of acts of physical and sexual violence against women, compared to other spaces. The observatory noted that several cases of physical violence results in dangerous effects, in some cases leading to death. Ninety-two and 81 women were murdered, respectively in 2016 and 2015.Women without paid work are the most vulnerable to violence, particularly sexual violence, the source added. Ten percent of the cases recorded by the Ministry of Justice in 2016 and 2015 involved sexual violence among adults.More than a half of these sexual violence cases, 65 percent in 2015, and 68 percent in 2016, were committed against women under the age of 30, according to findings from the National Directorate of Security.Elderly women are no exception: 883 women aged over 61 were victims of physical violence in 2015, and 792 others in 2016.Beyond Morocco, violence against women, particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence, represents “a major public health problem and a violation of women’s rights,” says the World Health Organization (WHO).“Violence against women is fundamentally about power,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres late November.“There is increasing recognition that violence against women is a major barrier to the fulfilment of human rights, and a direct challenge to women’s inclusion and participation in sustainable development and sustaining peace,” he added.However, global estimates indicate otherwise. About 1 in 3 of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.Worldwide, almost 30 percent of women in a relationship reported that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime, indicated the WHO.More alarmingly, 38 percent of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner.
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