In Morocco, it’s not easy for women to walk the streets unmolested. Morgan Meaker hears from some who want to put an end to endemic harassment.
For Ghizlane Ahblain, the word “whore” is a constant refrain in the soundtrack of her home city, Marrakesh. A stomach-punch of a word, it’s hurled from the pink-tinged doorways and from the rickety motorbikes whose engines gasp for breath on the city’s choked main roads.
“In Morocco, everything you do, you’re a whore,” says Ghizlane, who works at a hotel. “If you wear lipstick, you’re a whore. If you wear a headscarf, you’re a whore.”
Frustration spills out of the small but fierce 30-year-old Moroccan as she sits on a cafe terrace in central Marrakesh. Like many women in Morocco, Ghizlane experiences sexual harassment on a daily basis. But a few years ago, she started to fight back.