Moroccan state TV apologizes for airing domestic violence makeup tutorial
Moroccan women were understandably offended by a makeup tutorial aired by a state television channel Wednesday. In the segment, host Lilia Mouline instructed viewers on how to "camouflage the traces of violence against women," the Washington Post reported.
In the wake of viewer protest, Morocco's Channel 2M has apologized and removed the video from its website.
"The management believes that this section is completely inappropriate and has an editorial error of judgment in view of the sensitivity and the gravity of the subject of violence against women," reads a translated post on 2M's Facebook page. Reiterating the network's "sincerest apologies," the post promises 2M's "unwavering commitment in favor of the defense of the rights of the woman."
The tutorial, which aired on 2M's Sabahiyat talk show two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, was intended to teach women how to cover facial bruising left over from domestic abuse.
"After the beating, this part is still sensitive, so don't press," Mouline explained, according to the Post. She detailed which tones to use to best counteract blue and red swelling, applying layers of concealer, powder and foundation to a model made up to look like she had two black eyes.
"We hope that these beauty tips help you carry on with your normal life," Mouline wrapped up the tutorial.
Domestic violence is a problem many Moroccan women face. According to a survey published in January 2011 by the Moroccan High Commission for Planning, about 63% of women between the ages of 18 and 64 had been subject to some form of violence in the 12 months preceding the survey, and 55% of participants experienced conjugal violence — yet only 3% of conjugal violence cases were reported to authorities. According to Human Rights Watch, police, prosecutors and judges do little to help victims who do come forward.
In March, after more than a decade, the government passed a violence against women bill — but according to Newsweek, it falls far short of what women need because it fails to treat domestic violence like the crime that it is.
While 2M apologized for the tutorial, Mouline reportedly stood by it, explaining that it was intended as a resource for those who regularly suffer violence at home.
"We are here to provide solutions to these women who, for a period of two to three weeks, are putting their social life aside while their wounds heal," she said, according to Morocco World News. "These women have already been subjected to moral humiliation and do not need to also have others looking at them."
"Makeup allows women to continue to live normally while waiting for justice," she added.
After the segment was posted online, viewers on social media tore it apart, circulating a Change.org petition denouncing 2M's "message of normalization with violence against women." At time of writing, it had garnered over 2,200 signatures of it's 2,500 target.
"Do not cover domestic violence with makeup, condemn the aggressor!" the petition reads.
Editor's note: To speak confidentially about a domestic violence situation, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 799-7233 or the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Both provide free, anonymous support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.