Women around the world have responded in disgust after a show broadcast on Moroccan state television showed women how to use make-up to disguise the evidence of domestic violence – telling them, “We hope these beauty tips will help you carry on with your daily life.”
The beauty segment in the daily programme Sabahiyat, on Channel 2M, featured a model made up to look as though she had been beaten around the face, with fake black and blue bruising around her eyes and dark purple swelling on her cheekbones.
Make-up artist Lilia Mouline then showed viewers how they could use concealer to “camouflage traces of violence”.
Incredibly, the segment was allegedly created to promote the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November, Mashable reports.
“Make sure to use loose powder to fix the make-up so if you have to work throughout the day, the bruises don’t show,” said Mouline, as she dabbed a pale concealer over the model’s fake injuries.
The channel has since removed the beauty tutorial from its website, but a clip has been shared on Twitter – and it makes for jaw-dropping viewing.
Mouline told Moroccan news site Yabiladi that she did not intend the segment to normalise domestic abuse.
“We are here to provide solutions to these women ... These women have already been subjected to moral humiliation and do not need to also have others looking at them,” she said. “Makeup allows women to continue to live normally while waiting for justice.”
Channel 2M released an apology following the outcry on social media over the tutorial, stating that “the management believes that this section is completely inappropriate and has an editorial error of judgement in view of the sensitivity and the gravity of the subject of violence against women”.
Morocco’s family law was reformed in 2004 to provide women with more legal rights and protections. Prior to the 2004 reforms, the family code demanded that women obey their husbands and use male guardians (or walis) to conclude their marriages, and restricted the circumstances under which women could seek divorces.
However, despite these legal changes, Moroccan women are still not protected from domestic violence. A report by the Advocates for Human Rights and the Moroccan NGO Mobilising for Rights Associations concluded that “currently, no specific legislation addressing violence against women exists in Morocco”.
The writers of the report added: “[Moroccan] laws have legal gaps, are insufficient to prevent, investigate, and punish violence against women, are discriminatory, and rarely enforced by the justice system in cases of gender-based violence, such as sexual harassment, rape, and domestic abuse.”