A Moroccan state television channel apologized after airing a makeup tutorial aimed at domestic violence survivors, the Washington Post reported.
The tutorial aired just days before the U.N. International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and showed women how to cover up bruises on their faces. The tutorial’s host, Lilia Mouline, said, “It’s a subject we shouldn’t talk about, but unfortunately that’s what it is…We hope that these beauty tips help you carry on with your normal life.”
The tutorial immediately came under fire — especially because Morocco has been criticized for how it handles domestic violence. Nearly two-thirds of Moroccan women have experienced some sort of physical, psychological, sexual, or economic violence, according to a 2009 survey conducted by the Moroccan High Commission for Planning. In February, Human Rights Watch called on the country to strengthen its laws to provide more protection for domestic violence survivors, alleging that the country’s justice system had failed to investigate instances of domestic violence on a number of occasions.
An online petition, which has over 2,000 signatures, called on the government to take action against the program. “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,” the petition read, according to the Post. Others expressed outrage to the tutorial on social media.
The channel issued an apology on its Facebook page, saying that it would address the criticism internally.
Mouline, the tutorial’s host, said that the tutorial was not endorsing domestic violence in an interview with a Moroccan radio station, according to the Post. “These women have already been subjected to moral humiliation and do not need to also have others looking at them,” Mouline said. “Makeup allows women to continue to live normally while waiting for justice.”
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