RABAT: A public television station in Morocco was given an official reprimand on Tuesday for broadcasting a sequence on how to use make-up to conceal the bruises of battered women.
It was transmitted last November – marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – by 2M on its morning magazine programme “Sabahiyate”.
The sequence depicted a woman with a swollen face, with the presenter telling viewers that she was not really injured, and that these were just “cinematic effects”.
On Tuesday, the country’s High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) said the sequence “violated certain legal and regulatory provisions”.
HACA said in a statement it was forbidden to “incite violence against women, directly or indirectly”, or “to undermine her image”.
It said the sequence gave “ready-made solutions” to “cope with the effects of violence against women”, and that this was an “encouragement, even implicit, to trivialise the phenomenon”.
The original broadcast initially passed unnoticed, but after being posted on the channel’s website, it provoked a storm of reaction on social media and was then removed.
The channel’s management issued a statement calling the sequence “completely inappropriate”, and offered its “most sincere apologies for this error, given the sensitivity and seriousness of the subject”.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch has said that violence against women is common in the North African country.
It said an official study in 2009-2010 found that almost two thirds of Moroccan women had been physically, psychologically, sexually or economically abused, and that of those, 55 per cent said they had suffered domestic violence.
Last July, a draft law on the fight against violence against women, mothballed for three years, was finally adopted by the lower chamber in parliament.