New Book Aspects of Violence against Women in North Africa

Rabat – “Aspects of Violence against Women in North Africa” is the title of a new edited book led by the Morocco university researchers Moha Ennaji and Fatima Sadiqi.Published by the Isis Center for Women and Development in Fez with the support of the German Institute for Cultural Relations (IFA), this book, of 160 pages, deals with the causes and consequences of violence against women in the Maghreb.It includes ten chapters motivated by the growing interest in gender studies, and explores the various aspects of violence against women in Maghreb societies from a sociological and comparative perspective. The book focuses on the problem of violence with the aim to deconstruct its historical, cultural, religious, social, and political foundations. It shows that violence against women is a multi-faceted phenomenon in North Africa, where tradition, social norm, religion and politics blend in a highly patriarchal society.Participants in this publication reveal that gender-based violence varies from verbal threats, coercion, economic abuse, arbitrary deprivation of freedom, to physical violence. It can be caused by a husband, partner, family member or other persons. It may also include sexual harassment and abuse by persons such as employers, public authorities, teachers, etc.The book shows that violence against women and girls in the Maghreb, as in the rest of the world, has dramatic ramifications for families and communities, as it not only hinders women but it hampers productivity, reduces human capital, and undermines economic growth as well.The book also shows that the region has recently become a hotbed of violence against women, especially after the so-called “Arab Spring,” and that the victims of civil wars today are 70-80% civilians, mostly women.To combat violence against women, the authors recommend girls’ education, women’s economic independence and emancipation, and the continuing struggle against this scourge in collaboration with civil society and the media. They also recommend that states implement laws and policies capable of combating violence against women.Moroccan and international experts partook in the writing of this book, namely: Colette Apelian, Rachid Elouardi, Mohamed Yachoulti, Souad Belhorma, Aziza Ouguir, Driss Rhomari, Sanja Kelly, Oiafae Tribak, Moha Ennaji and Fatima Sadiqi read more