Half of the violence against women in Morocco comes from their own husbands, a situation that needs to change, a minister from the North African nation said yesterday.
Social Development Minister Bassima Hakkaoui, the sole female minister in this country of 33 million people, said she would try to push forward a law protecting women that has been stuck in parliament for eight years.
"Despite all efforts, violence against women is still widespread," she said at the opening of a regional conference on the subject. "Violence against wives represents 50 per cent of all attacks against women."
According to statistics from her ministry, six million women in Morocco are victims of violence, roughly one in three.
In March, the suicide of a 16-year-old girl who was forced to marry the man she said had raped her made international headlines and threw a harsh spotlight on Morocco's penal code. Amina al-Filali took poison after several months of what her parents described as an abusive marriage to a man they said had raped her in the woods.