Photo credit: REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal.
February 26, 2020.
Three stories you need to read today. Compiled and broken down for you by Reporting Morocco student journalists — every day. Brought to you from the School for International Training’s journalism program, Rabat.
Source: Middle East Monitor
Lede: Thousands of activists protested on Sunday in Casablanca, Morocco, demanding the improvement of social and human rights conditions.
Key Background: “This march comes to demand social justice, rights and freedoms,” said Younes Ferrachin, coordinator of the Moroccan Social Front. Ferrachin called in a speech on the sidelines of the march to continue the struggle until the social demands are met. He pointed to the need to confront what he called “the human rights rollback in his country and the systematic restriction of freedoms.”
Why this is newsworthy: Moroccans continue to show their dissatisfaction with the perceived lack of freedom of speech given by the king. A government spokesperson affirmed that every person in the country has the freedom of expression, and explained that there needs to be a line drawn between expression and criminal acts. This protest marks the continued battle between the government and the people of Morocco over what the freedom of expression means.
Source: Asharq Al-Awsat
Lede: The Moroccan Ministry of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality, and the Family launched Monday extensive consultations on the national program to empower women economically by 2030.
Key Background: This comes under the framework of a meeting organized by the technical committee in Rabat on Monday to follow up with the government equality plan “Ikram 2” covering 2017-2021. The project aims to boost women’s opportunities and enable them economically by issuing a strategic study on women’s economic empowerment.
Why this is newsworthy: The existence of this project means that the government recognizes the inequalities women in Morocco face and are willing to get outside help. The workshop includes a comprehensive group of actors in government, research and community groups. The last government project to improve the lives of women was a law against violence against women, which was met with backlash, but there is a potential for this project to go better.
Source: Morocco World News
Lede: Vendors at a fish market reportedly in Tetouan, Morocco harassed an Asian tourist, shouting “corona” at her. The abuse referenced the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Key Background: Morocco’s government has reassured citizens that all institutions are vigilant and mobilized against a possible outbreak in the country, confirming that no cases have been detected so far.
Why this is newsworthy: Although Morocco still has no cases of coronavirus, the fear of the virus and the prevalent racism has spread to the country showing the effect of the virus is felt everywhere. This article also connects to freedom of expression, as the government has arrested people who have made false claims about the spread of coronavirus to Morocco.