By Cady Drell. Photos: Courtesy of YouTube.
We’re not sure who thought this was a good idea, but a makeup tutorial that aired November 23 on Moroccan state TV has caused a huge backlash. The segment, broadcast on the show Sabahiyat on Channel 2M, featured host Lilia Mouline applying makeup to a seated woman who appeared to have been beaten. Its purpose? To show viewers tips for hiding bruises, black eyes, and other signs of domestic abuse.
“After the beating, this part is still sensitive, so don’t press,” said Mouline in Arabic, according to The Washington Post. She then named some of the best brands for hiding bruises, and which colors to use to hide purple and blue punch marks—noting that the bruises on the model for the segment were created with makeup for the purpose of the show. “We hope that these beauty tips help you carry on with your normal life,” she added.
And as if the subject matter—that is, suggesting that women should hide the visible markers of domestic violence and abuse—weren’t bad enough, the timing made it even worse: The clip aired two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, according to The Guardian.
Social media put Sabahiyat on blast almost immediately, pointing out the disturbing nonchalance with which the segment treated the issue of domestic violence, the ways in which airing it suggested that women were tacitly responsible for their own abuse, and calling for action against the show and the network:
The network issued an apology on its Facebook page, removed the clip from its site, and issued on-air apologies in which they called running the segment an “editorial error of judgment in view of the sensitivity and the gravity of the subject of violence against women.” For many women in Morocco and elsewhere, though, that wasn’t enough. An online petition was also circulated on Change.org, which as of publication has over 2,300 signatures. In both Arabic and English, it reads:
A few days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, a show dedicated to women on the Moroccan public channel 2M aired the November 23th a segment showing Moroccan women how to cover bruises from domestic violence. As Moroccan women and as feminist activists in Morocco, and in the name of all Moroccan people, we denounce the message of normalization with violence against women. We demand severe sanctions against this show, "Sabahiyat", and the channel 2M. We encourage signatories to contact the High Authority of Audiovisual Communication (HACA), demanding they take action against 2M and Sabahiyat. A full list of phone numbers and email address is available here: HACA Do not cover domestic violence with makeup, condemn the aggressor! #???_???
Domestic violence is a huge issue all over the world, and Morocco is no exception. According to a study cited by Morocco World News, over 62 percent of women in the North African country are victims of gender-based violence. As cited by the Washington Post, the NGO Human Rights Watch sent a letter to the country’s government in February of this year that asked lawmakers to do more to address the issues of domestic and gender-based violence in the country, including closing gaps in the criminal code and offering increased assistance to survivors of abuse.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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