Moroccans are celebrating a law that criminalizes violence against women, in what they consider a major step in the right direction toward gender equality.
The new bill was issued earlier this year by the parliament and started taking effect on Wednesday. It imposes tougher penalties on various types of sexual violence and harassment against women; including rape, sexual harassment and domestic abuse.
Moroccans went to social media to celebrate the new law and the fact that womens rights activists have been demanding amending the law since 1993.
The law imposes penalties that range from one month to five years in prison in addition to fines from $200 to $1,000.
The law was welcomed mostly by Moroccans who have been witnessing an increase in sexual harassment incidents in the workplace and streets for several years.
Many activists considered the new law as a necessary step needed to be taken in several Arab countries, especially with the high rates of sexual harassment and rape incidents that were reported from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
The law was imposed earlier in February with many lawyers criticizing it. Many of them discussed the law’s lack of marital rape or spousal violence provisions, and a failure to adequately define domestic violence.