UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

Moroccan Government Releases Extensive Gender-Based Violence Study

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Date: 10 January 2011

Approximately 60 percent of Moroccan women have experienced some form of violence recently and a quarter of them sexual violence in their lifetime, according to an extensive UN Women-supported study unveiled on 10 January 2011 at a press conference in Rabat.

Conducted by the Moroccan High Commission for Planning (HCP) from June 2009 to January 2010, the study focused on a sample of 8,300 women aged 18-65 across Morocco and investigated violence they suffered in the year-period preceding the survey. The study is the first of its kind covering the whole territory.

The study reveals that 6 million out of the country's 9.5 million women between ages 18 and 65 had experienced some form of violence in 2009. Of all forms of violence investigated in this time period, the most frequent and widespread abuse was psychological at 48.4 percent (4.6 million women). Topping the list after that is infringement of civil liberties at 32 percent (3 million) and law enforcement-related violence at 17.3 percent (1.2 million).

HCP Head Ahmed Lahlimi explained that while violence takes many forms, it also varies in degree across regions and on socio-economic factors. The investigation found, for instance, that violence against women is three times more likely in urban areas than rural ones. Divorced women in the workforce and unemployed women at home also face higher instances of violence.

The survey's results show that that violence against women is no longer a taboo in Moroccan society, Lahlimi said.

UN Women provided support to the HCP for the study under the framework of the MDG-F Multi-sector Programme to Combat Gender-based Violence through the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Morocco.

For more information, contact Florence Basty, UN Women, Programme Monitoring and Reporting Specialist, Morocco, florence.basty[at]unwomen.org, +212 5 37 63 53 33