The impact of Moroccan mainstream media on shared gender perception is enormous. On national TV and newspapers, deeply rooted stereotypes and generalizations are often reinforced by a portrayal of women that fails to capture their uniqueness and diversity. For male and female audiences alike, it is difficult to understand the perspective of Moroccan women around economic or social issues.
To help diversify the image of women in the media, our office in Morocco designed and implemented a project to break down the barriers that hinder gender equality in the country.
With help from MEPI, we are leading a series of activities targeted towards media professionals, to address the one-dimensional coverage of women’s issues in Morocco as opposed to the multitude of roles women play in Moroccan society, particularly in regards to their work outside of the home. Our overall ambition is to change the way women are shown in the media towards more accurate, fair and nuanced reporting.
We recently held a roundtable discussion in Rabat, titled Inclusive Journalism and Coverage of Gender in Morocco. The panel of experts tried to answer two questions: how to break stereotypes when reporting on women – and what role can journalists play in promoting women’s rights?
One of the panelists, journalist Abdellatif Fadouach, pointed out that in newspapers the Women section is exclusively focused on gossip, beauty, fashion, and cuisine. She also stressed the need to eliminate the partition between women’s issues and the rest of the news coverage, and avoid sensationalism and clichés when reporting on women’s experiences. The talk was followed by a Q&A with the audience members.
MEPI beneficiary Samira Haouache, President of Association Tadamoune, noted the disparity between rural and urban media coverage, despite working 30 kilometers from Rabat. “It’s a completely different world. There are no journalists. Nobody comes to see what is going on with rural women. People continue to report on the big CSOs […] but nobody comes to see what’s actually happening to real Moroccan women.”
This discussion yielded several practical recommendations for the media to more accurately portray women’s lives. The recommendations made by panelists and audience members will be gathered in a practical guide for journalists to give advice on how to incorporate greater diversity and inclusivity in the media.
Keep in touch with our office in Rabat at Search for Common Ground Maghreb منظمة البحث عن ارضية مشتركة.