The Executive Committee of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), meeting in Brussels on 28 and 29 June, has called for the Moroccan government to promote press freedom and protect journalists in the country, rather than attacking and undermining the demeanor of women journalists and the clothing they wear.
The call has been made following the report presented to the committee by the IFJ’s gender council co-director, Mounia Belafia, about the numerous attacks made against women journalists by the Moroccan government.
These include the case of the female journalist, Khadija Rahali, who was verbally abused by the Moroccan minister in charge of relations within the parliament, who accused Rahali of wearing disrespectful cloths. There are also continuous attacks by the Moroccan minister of communication on the media in general, and in particular the image of women on television, while the prime minister has made remarks against women working outside the home.
The Executive Committee considers such behaviour and statements to be a serious violation of woman journalists’ dignity, and women in general, and demands that the Moroccan government respects its obligations to gender equality and human rights, and stops using the issue of the image of women to justify a backward vision and policy.
The IFJ Executive Committee calls on the Moroccan government to work on solving the real problems, which undermine press freedom, the public service and the independence of the media in Morocco, and to protect journalists from repeated physical attacks, practiced by the security forces against them, instead of focusing on journalists clothing and the image of women on TV.