Nov. 25 is the international day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This particular day is meant to raise awareness in order to ignite a change and eliminate violence against women. With designated days as such, one may wonder why we still feel the need to address and correct violence against women.
Sexual and non-sexual violence against women still remains prevalent in many regions around the world because we do an inadequate job at targeting what it is we need to eliminate. Morocco, for example, has presented a huge problem within the past month when it comes to dealing with victims of abuse.
Earlier this month the famous Arab singer, Saad Lamjarred, was accused of sexually abusing a female in France. At this time, it is important to note that this was not the first time this artist was faced with the accusation of abusing women. In fact, Lamjarred had even fled the United States in February of 2010 after posting bail for similar charges. With the knowledge of his repeat offense, one may question why Morocco’s king, Mohammed VI, decided to cover the legal costs to defend Lamjarred. With evidence of violence against women, what exactly were they trying to eliminate?
The strategy of silencing the victim has continued to mask the idea of eliminating violence against women. Morocco’s main television channel, 2M, broadcasted a segment on one of their morning shows, Sahabiyat, that introduced cosmetic tips on how women can cover bruises with makeup. “We hope these beauty tips will help you carry on with your daily life,” stated the host, Lilia Mouline, at the end of the episode.
Promoting a segment as such illuminates the exact problem that exists with violence against women. Morocco’s strategy is simply one example of a larger problem around the globe. We are taught to eliminate the evidence rather than the abuse. Masking violence around us systematically teaches us to normalize it as a part of our lives. Getting rid of the evidence does not get rid of the abuse. We need to redefine what it means to eliminate violence against women.