#MeToo movement rocks Morocco over ‘sex for grades’ scandal
Female Moroccan university students have broken their silence about professors demanding sexual favors in return for good grades, a scandal that has shaken the higher education system.
Testimonies have flooded social media in the style of the #MeToo movement, encouraged by activists in the conservative North African nation where victims of sexual violence often keep quiet.
“I was expelled from university a year ago under the pretext that I had cheated on an exam,” said 24-year-old student Nadia, who declined to give her full name.
“The truth is that I had just refused to submit to sexual blackmail from one of my professors.”
The Hassan I University in Settat, near Casablanca, where she was eventually re-admitted, is now embroiled in a scandal involving five professors.
One was sentenced to a two-year prison term this month for demanding sexual favors for good grades, in the first such verdict, while four others are due to face court Monday.
“My case was not an isolated one,” said Nadia. “Other girls suffered similar things but no one wanted to listen to us.”
In recent years, several similar cases were reported by local media but failed to elicit official action.
But then a social media campaign shifted the conversation, raising awareness of the magnitude of the problem.