Kept under Cover: Journalists with Headscarves in Morocco

Analysis, posted 12.20.2011, from Morocco, in:
Kept under Cover: Journalists with Headscarves in Morocco (Photo: AP)

Many Moroccan women wear headscarves, and the number has increased considerably in recent decades. It's a tendency that can be seen in the workplace, and especially in the media, where a growing number of women with headscarves work. Some of them have been covering their heads since they started their professional careers; others only chose to do so at a later stage. But they all pay a high price for their decision, especially those who work in radio or television.

Halima Abrouk is one of them. She's been through journalism school and now works for a Moroccan newspaper, but she originally wanted to work for radio or television. As she told Qantara.de, "I had hoped to find a place in the audio-visual media, but when I graduated, it quickly became painfully clear to me that that would be very difficult, if not impossible, as long as I wore a headscarf. This is especially true in television, where, aside from a few editorial areas, no-one with a headscarf can get a job. You certainly never see one on screen."

Abrouk had to give up her dream of working in her chosen area of the media profession, and she took a job in print, where, she says, there are no restrictions on women who wear headscarves. But Abrouk still doesn't know why such women can't get jobs in radio.

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By Siham Oushtou; Translated by Michael Lawton

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