Sunday, October 14, 2012
Morocco Is Seeing An Alarrming Rise In The Number Of Abondoned Babies
Morocco is seeing an alarming rise in the number of abondonerd babies by single mothers, activists said, blaming prejudice and outdated legislation for the problem. Omar Kindi, an organizer of a conference on vilence and discrimination against single mothers and children said, "aacording to information we have gathered from the people who take care of the abomdoned children born outside marriage, the numbers are getting much worse." The existing statistics are bad enough. According to a study carried out by Insaf, an NGO that supports women and children in distress, of which the Kindi is the president, 27200 young women gave birth outside marriage in 2009, with a total of 8760 babies abomdoned. That equates to 24 babies per day on average. Morocco has witnessed a population boom and rapid urbinization in recent decades in leading to ever-growing levels of interaction between single men and women in the relatively conservative Muslin country. Kindi and other activists argue that attitudes and legislation have failed to keep pace with the social changes, as starkly illustrated by the article-490 of the panel code according to which extra-marital sex is punishable by upto a year in jail. Doctors in public maternity hospitals may refuse to pregnant young women, even if they victom of rape by their employers. Aisha Echaane, another speaker of the Casablanka conference, said the "mentality of the society" and lack of suppoprt for single mothers, who are aggresively treated by the officials, were driving factors behind new-born babies being abondoned. She furher said that from 1990 to 2000, 23,000 were buried in cemetries in Casablanka ( Moroccos largest city). That gives you an idea that our children were being thrown away. They get eaten by dogs or buried. Activists emphasize the need for changing the law and as well as sexual education in Morocco to avoid unwanted pregnancies, with more than 60 % of single mothers under 26 years of age and may of them illiterate.