Women in Morocco Ali Jebari, Morocco

I’ve compiled the interview of two Moroccans into one paragraph/essay. Here it is:
(Sorry for the delay, I am attending COP22 in Marrackech and the wifi at the hostel is really slow)

I am sitting at a café with a friend of mine. She agreed to be interviewed.

– “How is it being a woman in Morocco?”
– “I waited my whole life for someone to ask me this question.” She chuckles and starts:
“Growing up in a Moroccan society, I’ve always been a little bit embarrassed of being a woman ‘cause I’ve always heard people tell me that ‘oh, you can’t do this’ or ‘oh, you can’t do that.’ I’m not like my brother because he’s a boy and he can do a lot of things. He can be adventurous and he can go out with his friends, but I can’t. Growing up,  I have managed to convince my conservative parents to stop telling me “not to do this” or “not to do that”. I can’t stand when people tell me “It’s not a girl’s thing”.


– “Would you consider yourself a feminist?”
– “I am a feminist. I’m totally a feminist. Every single time someone says something bad about women or says that we’re not able to do something, I feel like they judge me without knowing me, and I feel like I’m way more adventurous than any other guy. I am a feminist because I am tired of being perceived as being weak. I can do things for myself. I can do things for the people I love. When I work, I work twice as hard as men because I feel like I constantly have to prove a point. It is frustrating.” Her eyes get a little somber. “We don’t always get the same recognition.”

As she proceeds in explaining this, a random woman comes and gives each of us a white rose. Until this day, we have absolutely no idea why. Nonetheless the gesture was much appreciated.
She chuckles and thanks the woman.

– “What would you say to people who believe women should stay and home, take care of household matter, and refrain from seeking an education?”
– “I would tell them that they need to think about the role of women more deeply. As long as one can remember, in Morocco, the only required skill for a woman was “knowing how to cook”. When I mention that I don’t know how to cook, people say “oh then you’re probably not gonna be a good housewife”. Why should I think that way? I need to work. I don’t need to only learn how to cook and clean the house. I can do other things. I can participate in politics. I can save the world.”

She pauses to think and starts again:
– “I think it is changing. Slowly, because some men think that we don’t have anything to complain about. When we demand equal pay for equal work for example, they see it as us being spoiled. They say ‘See, you give her a little freedom, and know she wants more! How ungrateful’. They don’t realize that in general they take all of their privileges for granted.
– “Last question: what do you think is the one factor that is going to make things change?”
– “It’s education”
– “Education?”
– “Yes, education.”

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