Cablegate: High-Level Gom Support for New Campaign to Combat Violence
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHRB #2184 3331645
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291645Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY RABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5283
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 2400
UNCLAS RABAT 002184
STATE FOR NEA/MAG, DRL
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL MO
SUBJECT: HIGH-LEVEL GOM SUPPORT FOR NEW CAMPAIGN TO COMBAT VIOLENCE
1. Summary: The Fourth National Campaign to Fight Violence Against
Women was officially launched in Rabat November 27 by the
Secretariat of State for Family Affairs, Childhood and the
Handicapped. The attendance at the launch of the Prime Minister and
other key GOM officials underlined strong GOM support and
collaboration with the Moroccan women's movement. Participants
mapped out a strategy to further integrate judicial and social
measures to combat violence against women. End summary.
2. The campaign entitled "Toward a Law Against Violence on Women,"
will was launched on November 27, with a media blitz set to run
until December 20, entailing the transmission of TV and radio spots
including a documentary on achievements so far in this effort.
There will also be a "national sensitization caravan" which will
depart from the city of Ouarzazate (500km southeast of Rabat), and
move toward two conferences organized by the National Observatory to
fight violence against women (which just celebrated its first
anniversary), in the cities of Meknes (130km east of Rabat) and Safi
(400km South of Rabat). This campaign is receiving funding and
technical assistance from UNFPA and the German Technical Aid Agency
(GTZ). The most tangible deliverable will be the presentation early
next year of a draft bill on the fight of violence against women,
intended to complement and strengthen existing laws.
3. This year the campaign was opened on November 27 in the presence
of several senior members of government including Prime Minister
Driss Jettou, Minister of State and Secretary-General of the
Istiqlal Party Abbas El Fassi, Minister of Health Mohamed Biadillah,
Minister of Communication Nabil Benabdellah, Minister of Social
Development, Family, and Solidarity Abderrahim Harouchi, and the
Secretary of State in Charge of Family, Childhood and Handicapped
Affairs Yasmina Baddou. Over a dozen Human Rights and Women NGOs
were also represented, such as Union Action Feminin (UAF),
Association Marocaine des Droits de l'Homme (AMDH), and Association
Marocaine des Droits de la Femme (ADFM).
4. This year's campaign launch was also marked by a detailed
discussion of the implementation of the national strategy for gender
equity and equality in policies and development programs. The event
was chaired by PM Driss Jettou, who underlined in his opening
remarks that "Morocco has made human rights, in general, and the
promotion of women's conditions, in particular, a constant concern
and principle objective of all development and reform strategies."
PM Jettou also highlighted that Morocco works on respecting its
international engagements, pointing out Morocco's decision to lift
its the remaining reservations on the UN Convention on the
Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and
to study ways to adhere to its optional protocols.
5. State Secretary Yasmina Baddou reviewed during her speech the
first statistics ever gathered on violence against women --
collected since the launch on December 23, 2005 of the toll-free
number for battered women. She announced that 15,015 complaints of
violence had been registered of which 78 percent of the violence was
caused by spouses and 79 percent of the registered victims were
housewives. A new event this year was to include street harassment
as another form of violence against women. A special TV spot which
focuses on this type of harassment was screened at the event and
drew high applause from the hundreds of attendees.
6. The hotline for battered women (08000 8888) was launched on
December 23, 2005 as part of the 3rd national campaign to fight
violence against women. The call center runs 7 days a week from 8
am through midnight with 10 operators speaking in Arabic, Berber
dialects, and French. The center registers each complaint in a
database and offers medical, judicial, and psychological assistance.
Since the center is located in Rabat, it has signed partnership
agreements with the Ministries of Justice, Health, National
Security, and the Gendarmerie to facilitate service delivery
throughout the country.
7. Partnership agreements have been also signed with NGOs where
victims are sent for orientation. The center has also created
social assistance cells in all first instance courts to host women
victims and the similar facilities are being placed in police
stations (so far these exist in Rabat, Tangier, Fez, Meknes, and
Agadir.) Other assistance centers are being established in the main
public health facilities (they have already been established in
Rabat, Casablanca, and Marrakech) but due to limited funds, the
remaining eleven centers in health facilities will be created in
already existing centers located in public hospitals for abandoned
and physically abused children.
8. Comment: The character of the November 27 conference, and the
follow up plans that have been laid out, are indicative of the
significant material and political support the Moroccan women's
movement receives from the top levels of the GOM. The conference
was also showcased the growing maturity and evolution of the
movement as a self-sustaining force in Moroccan civil society.