Moroccan TV Segment About Using Makeup To Cover Signs Of ... - NPR


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On a morning talk show on Moroccan TV, a makeup artist used a model to show how to conceal bruises caused by domestic violence. 2M/Screenshot by NPR hide caption

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2M/Screenshot by NPR

On Nov. 23, a morning talk show on Morocco's state television aired a segment on using makeup to conceal bruises from domestic violence. It was part of a promotional effort for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, coming up two days later.

The reaction was swift and negative. The TV station apologized.

But according to researchers and government surveys, the idea of covering up domestic violence reflects local attitudes. In Morocco, when a man beats, rapes, slashes or burns his wife, it's not uncommon for the woman's friends, families — even the police — to tell her to go back home and keep her mouth shut.

To learn more, we spoke with two specialists on this topic. Rothna Begum is the Middle East and North Africa women's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. In September 2015 she interviewed 20 women who had experienced domestic violence in Morocco, and she has also interviewed dozens of women's rights activists, lawyers, social workers and people working with domestic violence survivors. Sarah Kambou is president of the International Center for Research on Women.