Morocco’s law criminalising violence against women has come into force.
The law includes a ban on forced marriage, sexual harassment in public places, and tougher penalties for certain forms of violence.
It has been criticised by Human Rights Watch for not explicitly criminalising marital rape and lacking a precise definition of domestic violence.
A government survey found that 63% of women between the ages of 18-65 had been victims of violence.
Samira Raiss, one of the main Moroccan campaigners for a law criminalising violence against women, said: “We will not stop here. This law is an asset but it has shortcomings that we have to work on.”
The law – known as the Hakkaoui law after Women’s Minister Bassima Hakkaoui, who drafted it five years ago – has been criticised for requiring victims to file for criminal prosecution to obtain protection.
“We lack the appropriate tools to implement this law,” Ms Raiss said.
“In case of marital violence it is difficult to provide proof and we don’t even have shelters for victims.