Moroccan women using podcast advocacy to address sexual harassment

Get Heard highlights rights and laws to protect women, and helps broadcast their stories to the world.

Mar 15, 2018 · 4 min read
Picture during Podcast projects presentation

How can women stand up to the threat of sexual violence and harassment, if they don’t know that they have the right to do so? It’s a question that activists confront in conservative sections of society all over the world, and one which a new Moroccan podcast seeks to directly address.

It does this by raising awareness about women’s struggles with sexual harassment or any other form of sexual violence and extortion, and empowering Moroccan women with the necessary knowledge about their rights and give them the necessary tools to speak up.

The podcast, سمعي صوتك (Get Heard), is an initiative of YES (Youth Empowerment Society), led by Soufiyan SAAOUDI with the support of IRI (International Republican Institute) and in partnership with Code For Africa , 4 CHabab and other educational institutions based in Morocco.

سمعي صوتك aims to introduce girls and women from different Moroccan cities to the national and international laws and regulations protecting them from sexual harassment, violence and extortion. It also uses its platform to teach listeners basic skills and techniques to produce their own podcast, in order to have a voice online to tell their stories.

Interview with Soufyian SAAOUDI by Hiwar Press
Source : UN Women

Statistics from UN Women show that 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. In other words, 34% of women globally — and this percentage tends to be higher in African regions.

Speaking about sexual harassment is still a taboo in some parts of Morocco. Often, victims who speak to their own families about a sexual assault or violence experience face extreme rejection from their families or male relatives.

This is not unusual, UN Women statistics show that 6 in very 10 survivors of violence remain silent rather than seek protection or support.

Source : UN Women

سمعي صوتك is more than a podcast. It aims to give the victims of sexual violence, harassment or extortion and their female relatives or friends a voice online, and encourage them to speak, via a series of face-to-face trainings as well.

In the recordings themselves, the identity of female participants, names and places are changed to protect the speakers, so that they can speak freely without fear of repercussion.

For the next phase of سمعي صوتك, project lead Soufyian SAADOUDI is investigating the feasibility of using video, and preserving anonymity using techniques such as face and voice blurring.

Women of all ages and from different social and professional backgrounds took part in two days of intensive trainings in collaboration with Code For Africa in the city of Tifelt.

Introduction to the national & international laws that protects victims of extortion and sexual harassment as well as the importance reporting the aggressors and seeking help. (Conducted by Khadija KHAFID)

The basics of advocacy using social media, and storytelling of sexual harassment or violence experiences using podcasts. (Conducted by Fadwa KAMAL)

At the end of the second day the participants produced their very first podcast telling real harassment or even rape stories to the public (The podcasts will be available online through the Facebook page of سمعي صوتك initiative).

During this event, we also introduced “Data Ladies Network” , Code For Africa’s newest initiative in Morocco. More details about the Network will be available in a separate article.

If you are a Moroccan female aged between 18 and 35 years old willing to be part of our next training (in Rabat and Kenitra), kindly apply here

Imporatant : Food, trainings and certificates are covered by the organisers.

“Get Heard” trainings are conducted in Arabic.

Fadwa KAMAL is the chapter organiser for Hacks/Hackers Casablanca, and the CFA Academy Lead in Morocco. You can connect with her via Facebook ,email and instagram.

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