Echoes of Women’s Voices: first programmes broadcasted

July 1, 2019

Since the end of April 2019, a mini-van equipped with a mobile studio has been travelling around the Marrakesh-Safi region of Morocco. It has so far gone on eight different trips. Discover the first programmes online!

In the past two months, more than 120 women have been paid a visit by teams from the Citizens' Initatives Association ( Association Initiatives Citoyennes - AIC). They have included school pupils, higher-education students, housewives, teachers, civil society representatives and project managers. They have all been aged between 16 and 60 (with the average age being 35), and residents of Marrakesh, Essaouira, Sidi Ibrahim, Tamslouht or even Aït Ourir.

For these first meetings, education formed the crux of the discussions. More specifically, the focus was placed on girls and women being forced to leave school or university (the causes, consequences and solutions/recommendations), and also on the economic emancipation of women in rural areas (and the importance of educating women in rural areas).

Zahra is 24 years old, and lives in Smimou. She was unable to continue her studies, and suffers from her status as a divorced woman. "I was beaten up and humiliated. My parents are very poor, and couldn't step in to save me. I didn't want to get married, but was pressured into doing so by my parents, my friends and society in general. Today, I'm suffering even more because I'm a divorced woman."

Latifa, 23, comes from Tamslouhte and holds a 'Bac+2' degree (i.e. two completed years of higher education). She is currently unemployed. "I couldn't get a job after graduating, because our village was a long way away from Marrakesh (I needed to walk across three kilometres of terrain each day just to get to the main road and catch a bus). There are very few transport links between the village of Lataouna and Marrakesh, and the journey is unsafe – especially for young women like us."

For each trip, the AIC members lead a two-hour workshop that takes account of the specific characteristics of each village. The women are then encouraged to come up with solutions and make recommendations.

Several action plans have already been set out: building primary schools, secondary schools and colleges in isolated villages and areas; making transport available, altering people's mindsets and combating the stereotypical images placed on young women living in rural areas, and making university scholarships more widespread.

After each workshop, radio takes over!
The women are interviewed in the mini-van's fully equipped studio. Their words are given airtime through two programmes that are broadcast by Kech Radio: Timgharine (which means 'women' in Amazigh), in which they speak about their needs, problems, requirements and expectations, and Moubadarat-Nissaiya (which means 'female initiatives' in Arabic), which highlights their initiatives and projects.

Before returning to Marrakesh, the AIC members present the village with either an olive tree (the symbol of the Marrakesh-Safi region) or a fir tree (which is the sign for continuity, and adapts easily to the local climate). The mini-van will continue making its trips throughout the year, with a summer break in August.

Our thanks go to Cheima el Hajjam, the project's Production Manager, for providing us with the information we needed for this short report.