Morocco vows to combat sexual harassment

AFP , Thursday 24 Aug 2017

Morocco's Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani vowed Thursday to adopt a strategy to tackle sexual harassment after attacks that have shocked the North African country.

Footage of a woman being assaulted by six bare-chested teenagers on a bus last week sparked outrage less than two weeks after a video emerged online of men hounding a lone woman in the northern city of Tangier.

The government is "considering how to deal with this kind of phenomenon so that such acts do not happen any more", Othmani said in a broadcast speech.

"The strategy to be adopted will be announced at the appropriate time," he said, a day after hundreds of people protested in the economic capital Casablanca over the assault on a bus there.

Six suspects were arrested on Monday after footage was shared on social media showing bare-chested teenagers assaulting the weeping young woman in broad daylight, laughing as they touched her private parts.

Morocco officially champions a tolerant version of Islam and does not impose the veil, but women are frequently subjected to insults, derogatory remarks and other sexist attacks in public.

Official figures show that nearly two-thirds of Moroccan woman have suffered violent attacks, often in public places.

Moroccan law condemns harassment of women at work but not in public spaces, according to the minister in charge of human rights, Mustapha Ramid, who pledged to work to extend the law to all cases.

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