Moroccan state TV channel, 2M, has come under fire for its broadcast of a makeup tutorial that teaches women how to hide injuries from domestic abuse. The segment was featured on the channel's morning show, "Sabahiyat", on Wednesday in which make-up artist Lilia Mouline demonstrated how to "camouflage traces of violence" with make-up. Worst of all, the segment was part of the channel's attempt at acknowledging the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Using a woman who had been made to appear as though she was bruised and swollen, Mouline gave viewers tips on how to cover facial bruises. "Use foundation with yellow in it. If you use the white one, your red punch marks will always show," Mouline says. "Make sure to use loose powder to fix the makeup, so if you have to work throughout the day, the bruises don't show," she advises. "We hope that these beauty tips help you continue your normal life" she says as she goes on to name the best products to disguise "signs of a beating".
"Use foundation with yellow in it. If you use the white one, your red punch marks will always show."Lilia Mouline, 2M
Following the airing of the programme, Moroccan women started a petition on change.org calling for "Morocco's government and the High Authority for Audio-visual Communication (HACA) to penalise [the] National television service" for broadcasting the tutorial.
According to Moroccan World News, the petition's creator stated: "As Moroccan women and as feminist activists in Morocco, and in the name of all Moroccan people, we denounce the message of normalisation with violence against women. We demand severe sanctions against this show, "Sabahiyat", and the channel 2M."
"Do not cover domestic violence with makeup, condemn the aggressor!" the petition read.
"Do not cover domestic violence with makeup, condemn the aggressor!"change.org petition
In a statement on its Facebook page, 2M acknowledges that the segment was "completely inappropriate" and that airing it was an "editorial error of judgement". According to ABC, 2M said the choice to air the segment was in "complete contradiction" to its commitment to women's rights and that it will "take the necessary steps to strengthen control and supervision".
When questioned about her participation in the segment, make-up artist Mouline told Moroccan news site Yabiladi that it was not her intention to normalise domestic violence, but rather that she wanted to "provide solutions" to women in abusive relationships. "These women have already been subjected to moral humiliation and do not need to also have others looking at them," she said.
The outrage at the channel's message of hiding instead of speaking out against domestic abuse comes against the backdrop of Morocco's high rates of domestic violence. In February this year, Human Rights Watch highlighted the prevalence of and lack of state response to domestic violence in a letter to the Moroccan government.
In a 2009 national survey by the Moroccan High Commission for Planning, 62,8 percent of Moroccan women aged 18 to 65 reported having experienced physical, psychological, sexual, or economic violence, Human Rights Watch reported.