Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

Morocco: The Reality of Prostitution

Morocco has the reputation of having a significant rate of prostitution. While it may not be as high as perceived by many in the Gulf countries, Morocco – with the dual distinction of being impoverished and highly touristic – is home to many young women seeking a “way out.” While some go abroad to study or work, others turn to prostitution. Many work in smaller towns in Morocco and are patronized mostly by fellow Moroccans; others become part of Morocco's large and unfortunate sex tourism industry, from which a number of cases are prosecuted each year. Still others turn to the wealthy Gulf countries for work; some make it as hairdressers or entertainers, but others end up – willingly or otherwise – as prostitutes.

One phenomenon in Morocco is that of the student-as-prostitute. Blogger Words For Change has written an excellent piece on the young rural women of Morocco who, finding themselves in the big city for university, end up involved in prostitution. An excerpt:

In the girls’ dorms, Aïcha learned how to dress, to put on make-up, and to talk like a woman. It is also in the university dorms that she was tempted to make some pocket money to pay for the pretty clothes which can make her look like city girls. The first step to the abyss was going out incognito with older men who invited her to good restaurants, and make her discover her charms and feminity. The deadly stab was when she discovered that she had to pay with her body for the few bills to realize her late adolescence fantasies.

Once Aïcha graduated, it was difficult to leave her well-paid night life for miserable desk work or to abandon the lights of the big city for a small house in Lhajeb. She told me with a bitter voice “When I was studying it was just to make pocket money. I didn’t realize that I am a prostitute until it became my full-time job after graduating”. Aïcha is still now living in the city and working as a prostitute to send money to her family and pay for her charges. Her education and beauty make very rich and well-known men from over the world pay for her services.

Another recent post, by Thejoker, touches on what a prostitute in Morocco looks like – anyone else:

There are in fact prostitutes, a simple word from you will turn them on and they will engage automatically a conversation. What is to deplorate is that many of these girls do study, have a poor family and do the job because of a great lack of money. I have seen once a girl, very young, who appeared to me to be virgin, she was scared someone approches her and at the end someone did speak to her, she continued to be fully contracted. It is a real pity what we see in the streets of Casablanca. Some moroccan people say that if a girl doesn't wear the tchadour [veil] then you can be sure that she is a prostitute. It is not like in Europe where the prostitute are recognised by the law. In Morocco it is a real melting pot we cannot know which girl is a prostitute and which girl is not. I suppose that there are some girls wearing jeans and western clothes and who are not prostitutes but every one has to search before finding real love.

23 comments

  • GenerSumilang

    Mo,
    You cannot be sure that those people you met on the clubs are 95% prostitutes,Moroccans likes socializations a lot too. I dont deny that there are many prostitutes in there but not that 95% rate.Moroccans are sweet and likes to get friends a lot, they talked a lot and smiles a lot but that does not mean that they are prostitutes.If you compare morocco from european and asian countries and even americas, they are far lesser in ratio, The way they dress may suspect you to think that they are prost. but they are only influenced by their european neighbours.
    Im not moroccan myself but i do stay in these country most of my times and even married maghreb lady and haves our siblings. I speak and understand their cultures better than anyone here and im sure,,,you are mistaken..

  • GenerSumilang

    The true problem in morocco which is currently arising in great concern is the alarming presence of destitute children in the streets, they are most found in the city belts of rabat and casablanca, this vulnerable kids are \USED\ to pedal drugs, beg for commission and prostitution in return for a mere fee enough to fill their stomach for a day and a safe passage allowing them to sleep in a safe place though squalid. This kids are are categorise as run-away from their poor families who never be able to feed them or mothers were thrown out of the family because of a mortal sin they called. This kids are in desperate need of proper counseling and help from legal institution, not a help only by \SHOW\ to gain political advantage but a lasting help. An agency should be set-up and find and root out the cause of all of this problem. Can we just standby and watch this kids doing all this elligitimate choirs, sniffing glue and grab by most phidophiles and wrecked by the street goons for their daily lives? Can you imagine if this are your kids! Will you allow them to do that? I think we should lay a good hand to them……

  • N PARIS

    Thank you very much for this article that enlightens a sad situation in morocco. When i returned back this year to my country, I was horrified to find that the situation becomes worse than it used to be 20 years ago. Before the prostitution exists among the poor women.and some students ” Now it spreads to a middle class, and also to the teenagers with the old moroccan man . I think that in morocco we have to educate men who do not hesitate to have sex with teenagers. We have to instore a sexual education in school. To talk about the danger of these sexual relations. the sexual deseases that all these girls may contract one day.In my opinion, If we try to forbid things without educating people. People will frustrated. and they continue to be ignorant.

  • Gener

    My understanding why young girls or teens are having sex with old man is that,,,The influence of what they usually see and experienced daily is that having sex with oldman but with money is ok,, which is wrong! it attracts prostitution in general,,,so i think, we cannot do anything much unless with the help of government to educate and emulate them the right way with of course the help of international NGOs to guide them the concept of legitimate sex education with due process…It is alarming indeed that this practice still exist and this is simply caused by ignorance and and not poverty in general, morocco is not a poor country compare to many african countries….

    • Gener,

      I think the larger problem is the unemployment rate, particularly for women, as well as the high rate at which women drop out of school. Though legitimate sex education is definitely important, women need education, period!

      -Jillian

      • A Berber

        Jilian,good quote.I’m an agnostic living in a muslim country.While they try to label westerners as immoral,they always forget theyre the one who is immoral.For them,anyone doesn’t fear God and approach differently maybe with love is a dangerous person.This is what their religion dictates to them.According to them,every western lady is one who brings shame with premarital relationship with man.Women dont have to ask men what they have to do unlike these backward,savage,barbaric culture

  • I’m Thai people….and I don’t good in English enough for tell you more than this \I’m Thai and I’ve seen enough prostitutes in my town\ and I think in every country have prostitutes but \where\ they combine.

    think like me?

    (sorry if i use bad gramma )

  • Leo

    Look, most of you dont know the reality just speaking what you saw. Mostly what we see is not reality. I have been living with marocco girls, families and found them very honorable women. ofcourse, there is alway some percentage of that type but this is so little. say 5 percent. no more than this.

    one more thing they dress like this coz they share boarder with spain. and many of them live in france. so, they are modern not prostitutes.

    sorry to contradicts you guys opinions but i m speaking at my personal 3 years experience.

  • Gener

    Leo is right! They are honorable and even much better than their arab peers. we cannot judge other people by just look or news or gossip…Im a national from far eastern country but married to a poor but humble, God fearing moroccan lady and we now haves two sons, for 12 years now that we are married, we never ever haves a critical argument. If ever that i visited their country,,,i was treated more than a king which i never experienced in any countries! they are humble,happy and respectable people too..being left poor and destitute is not their mistake and dont look at them as single personality….

  • […] mums in their fifties/sixties trade nights with their daughters with European tourists in Morocco (The Reality of Prostitution) to make income, yes now girls themselves sell their bodies for a “way […]

  • Abdellatif Rochdi

    Ohh boy, these people will take a tiny insect and picture it as a dinosaur. The story above and some comments make everyone look like a prostitute in Morocco, and I just don’t understand how an (Author) don’t get that these things exist in any spot on the globe. Did the author forget that the prostitution is their invention? Did she forget that in every street of her country there are prostitutes and sex shops? Now you are trying to preach about sexual corruption and sabotage in other countries? For God’s sake you made women nothing but sexual objects, everyone of them is sticking her tools out breasts and butt, and going way far in that to even sleep with family members and inventing nudist culture and how everyone in the family can hang out butt naked just like apes. Hypocrite nations.

  • doctorH

    julian York this is a very innaproptiet analys shame on you you have to be on the moroccan street to inderstand the situation not from your office it s false that s moroccan people juge all girls wearing occidental clothes like a prostitute in casablanca city this is not truth shame on you if you have to repport a social situation you dont have to globalize a few case you are not professionnel this is a very naughty analize

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site