Women in Morocco: organizing a Trip for women

Women in Morocco

  Morocco has come a long way in recent years regarding rights and respect for women. And our agency knows it well: we organize tour groups with a female majority or composed entirely of women. However, it is important to be clear about some issues and follow our advice in this post to avoid unwanted situations.

Morocco: a two-speed country in terms of women’s role

  When talking about women in Morocco, it all depends on whether we are talking about rural or urban areas, since the role of women changes a lot in one context or the other.

  In the rural world of Morocco, women still have a very traditional role: it is a very important role, as they are considered the central figure of the family, the breadwinner, both daily and at work, in many cases. Rural women are very hardworking and determined, and they are the decision-makers in the household, especially in terms of raising children. However, their role in society is very much relegated and subordinated to that of men, especially their husbands.

  On the other hand, in urban Morocco, women have made headway in their goal of catching up with men. This can be seen at the university level, in cities such as Marrakech, Rabat, Casablanca, and Tangier: female students receive their education under conditions of equality and freedom concerning male students. A different matter is the employment path that a woman can complete in the city: there is still a glass ceiling that limits her access to managerial positions and, therefore, to higher-paying jobs. However, the institutions are setting an example, as evidenced by the fact that more and more women from Morocco are working in the police force. The same is true in the political sphere, where important members of the institutions are women, as was the case with the Moroccan ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich.

Recommendations for women in Morocco

   Moroccan men are generally respectful of Moroccan women, but some take certain licenses with foreign women, especially if they perceive that they are alone and their appearance can be interpreted as provocative, from their point of view. Therefore, here are some recommendations for women in Morocco, especially for those traveling alone or in all-female groups.

Avoid ‘indiscreet’ clothing

  We use the word indiscreet in quotation marks because it may be a normal item of clothing in your home country, but in the eyes of a Muslim man, it may be considered provocative. These garments can be interpreted as indiscreet:

  • Tank tops that leave the shoulder exposed.
  • Low-cut tops
  • Short shorts, which leave a large part of the thigh exposed
  • Tight-fitting garments that emphasize the feminine figure
  • Very thin garments, with transparencies

   If you are used to wearing this type of garment in your country, the best thing to do is to leave them at home and change your style during the days of your trip to Morocco. It will be the best way to avoid too explicit looks and embarrassing situations. Therefore, we recommend you wear thin but long garments that do not generate transparencies and that cover the chest up to the neck. If you opt for short garments, they should at least go well above the elbow and the knee. And the loose cut will always be the most successful.

Women in Morocco

Head covering: not compulsory but respectful

  In the Western world, there is much debate about the use of the hijab or Islamic veil. Without wanting to go into it, we will tell you that wearing it in the street is not mandatory for women in Morocco. That is, you can walk through the medina or on the beach without covering your hair, even if you see that Muslim women do. However, if you do, it will certainly be interpreted as a respectful gesture towards the local society. Also, there are many different ways to cover your head: you can opt for an elegant headscarf that covers your hair from the middle of your head, which will represent a discreet look without completely masking your hairstyle.

   However, if you enter a public or private space with religious connotations, such as a mosque, wearing a headscarf will be mandatory. You will probably find signs warning you of this or you will be asked to do so, so we recommend that you always carry one on hand for this type of situation. In any case, there are very few religious sites that allow entry to non-believers.

Keep a firm attitude

  You may notice that some men play a certain game of glances towards you, or even compliments that they know in your language, such as “Guapa” or “Linda”. In that case, you must maintain a firm attitude, which makes it clear that you are not interested in any kind of flirtation or anything like it. Elegance should be your best weapon because leaving the other person in evidence can aggravate the situation if he/she feels offended.

Women in Morocco

Prudence and discretion when picking yourself up

  In Morocco, women can have fun, of course. But you must never abandon a certain prudence: in certain environments and places, it will not be understood very well that you go without male accompaniment, although in the big cities, there are more and more private and exclusive discotheques where this situation is quite normalized. And above all, you must maintain a certain discretion to return to the hotel: if possible, at a prudent time and in a private vehicle. It is preferable to avoid walking alone in certain areas in the early hours of the morning, mainly because you could be mistaken for women of a different profile.

    It is not unusual for the police to ask for documentation from women walking alone in the early hours of the morning because they believe they are performing an indecent activity, or even from couples composed of a man and a woman to prove that there is some kind of real bond between them and not a client-provider of sexual services.

In Ramadan, redouble your discretion.

   All this advice applies at any time of the year. But if you are traveling in Ramadan, you should be extra cautious: in this month, not only daytime fasting is required, but also continence, so showing even the slightest suggestion could be interpreted as a lack of respect for a man.

Rely on an agency with experience in Morocco

   If you are considering when to visit Morocco, it all depends on the region you want to visit. The nation is most picturesque in the spring when flowers are in full bloom and the trees are at their most verdant.

Finally, we can add another tip that will make you feel safe: trust an agency with experience in the country and with reliable staff to advise you at all times and provide support if you need it. This is Desert Merzouga Tours: we have extensive experience in organizing women’s tour groups and private tours in Morocco, as you can see if you take a look at our reviews on TripAdvisor and the photos uploaded by our clients on that platform. Our staff works with the utmost respect and knows well the neighborhoods of the main cities, as well as the locals in them. Therefore, if you want to add a moment of fun safely, we will help you with your choice.

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