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Morocco bans forced marriage, gender violence


Law in Morocco criminalising violence against women has formally taken effect.

The law includes a ban on forced marriage, sexual harassment in public places, and tougher penalties for certain forms of violence.

Human Rights Watch has criticised it for not explicitly criminalising marital rape and lacking a precise definition of domestic violence.

Sixty-three percent  of women between the ages of 18-65 had been victims of violence, according to a government survey.

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.

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