Naïma Benwakrim, specialist in gender issues, was the guest of the latest edition of the “PCNS Tuesdays” program, focused on “gender-based violence in the university space”. In this regard, she considered that violence against women is a matter of public interest which “transcends the limits of the private life of individuals”.
Based on certain statistics from the High Commission for Planning (HCP), the guest of the Policy Center for the New South, highlighted the “serious threats” that social relations in Morocco constitute for the safety of women in the ‘public space.
The manifestations of gender-based violence observed in academia do not differ from those seen in the public space, she argued.
To argue that “the difference is limited to the absence of precise data that would allow a thorough examination of this subject”. And, she continued, the results of surveys limited to certain universities, indicate that the university space gives a feeling of freedom and security to the students, given the conditions in which these establishments are administered, and the levels education and conscience that reign there.
In addition, the speaker returned to some “overruns” targeting women, in particular in the form of acts of sexual harassment or verbal violence against female university professors, during the exam period.
Naïma Benwakrim, also a human rights activist, similarly underlined that “gender-based violence can reach a more serious dimension such as corruption or sexual blackmail in the context of relationships between female students on the one hand. and male executives and teachers on the other hand, which causes serious psychological damage to the victims, which can lead to the end of their studies ”.
Stopping on a set of factors aggravating the phenomenon of violence and reinforcing its trivialization within Moroccan society, the specialist noted that these are explained by “the choice of victims to remain silent to avoid losing other rights, by the absence within the university of dedicated mechanisms to deal with these cases, by the legal illiteracy which prevails among women and, finally, by the fear of social and legal consequences ”.
Despite the existence of programs and strategies that are led by the State to combat the phenomenon of violence in general, “we still lack indicators and monitoring mechanisms to examine their efficiency and the effectiveness of the efforts made. in this sense ”, concluded the expert.