Single Mothers Essay

1212 words - 5 pages

“My only wish was to be free of this humiliation; I felt lonely and didn’t have the support I deserved.” These were the words of a young fifteen-year-old Moroccan girl who was victim of rape and asked to remain anonymous because of the shame that is associated with being a single mother. That’s the problem. Article 490 of the Moroccan penal code states that any two people of opposite sex who have sexual relations without being united by marriage shall be put to jail (Portant Approbation du Texte Du Code Pénal). Nevertheless, 5000 children are born annually by unmarried parents in Casablanca only (Houdaïfa). Rape and woman abuse in Morocco is much more prevalent than people think. 23% of women in this nation have undergone an act of sexual violence at one point of their lives (Lahlimi). But what happens to them and their children? Even though the Moroccan society has made progress towards women’s emancipation, there are still limits to what is socially accepted. Life as a single mother in Morocco is a long-lasting challenge that requires a lot of support.
One of the most difficult aspects of being a single mother is the direct exclusion by the relatives. This happens because the family is embarrassed and afraid that other people around might find out. They fear that these people will condemn them of poorly educating their children and are afraid that if they accept her, then the other children might feel it’s okay causing other similar cases to form. Thus, if other people find out, the family’s reputation will become very negative. One of my interviewees got raped in a rural area near Fès at age fifteen and tried seeking help from her mother, her closest relative. Even she just turned her back at her own daughter. To justify herself, she explained that she didn’t want her second husband to divorce her and refused to have her life ruined just because of this baby. For the victim, this was one of the hardest parts. In some cases, the woman is beat up by her own family until she loses her fetus (Tazi). For this reason, many rape victims hide their pregnancy in hope of keeping the family united.
After this exclusion by the relatives, the young woman finds herself alone. In fact, they find themselves financially isolated. Again, even strangers don’t want pregnant girl in their entourage in fear that she is of bad influence and drags other people along in the same path she took. The Moroccan society generally infers that these victims usually go out at night and date men, making them prostitutes. As a matter of fact, woman abuse is more common than rape. This happens when a man promises marriage to his girlfriend, but when he finds out that she is pregnant, he runs away because he realizes that he will not afford to pay for the food and shelter (usually rent) of himself, his to-be-wife and his future child. Every one, including police officers and the hospital staff, humiliates them! No company in Morocco would be willing to recruit a young,...

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