Women travelling in Morocco

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  • edited 5:37PM
    The British Foreign Office currently has no travel warnings issued for Morocco. You should be fine, as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and don't do anything obviously stupid:-) It's not a bad idea to check in with your country's embassy on arrival however.

    Enjoy your trip!
  • edited 5:37PM
    Hi Guys and Lasses, i am 64 and well travelled, my partner is 16 years my junior. We have visited Morocco and are going back this year. The people are warm and friendly, cannot do enough for the guests to their Country of which they are rightfully PROUD. Lorraine wore enough for the temperature and like in the UK got a few looks!! so what. This Country is calm and has so much to offer its tourist, please try it and enjoy. One problem though, you cannot get a glass of wine. They want to give you the bottle. PS Food is amazing. Warm regards Michael and Lorraine.
  • Morocco is very save country even if we compare it to spain or france ; I wotk with travel agency and lot of ladys travel by them self; sure don't look for hachich and your very save

  • Hello I was wondering if anyone here can answer a question I have ..
    I am a 20 year old Divorced woman with a small child and I am moving to Morocco (because I have good friends there). I was wondering if divorced women are looked down upon or treated badly or disrespected in Marocco (it being an Islam country). I will continue wearing wedding band even though I am divorced (I have no intention of remarrying or even dating till my son is of age) and have no problem wearing hijab and dressing appropriatly. 
    Does anyone know if I will have problems , because of being a Young Divorced woman with a small child? 
    Thanks for any answers...
    C.
  • my answer to Cosmo 1313  is  that Morocco is a very safe country, you have nothing to worry about, also you don't have to wear a hijab if you don't want too. so welcome and just be yourself.  

  • edited June 2013
    My sister also traveled to Morocco recently. It was an amazing experience for her she did not come across any such thing so I guess there is nothing to worry about.
  • I just returned as a single female traveler in Morocco.  I am a confident solo traveler with lots of time spent in Asia, Europe, and South America.  Before I left for Morocco, I poured over the posts in this thread and thought, "Wow, there are a lot of people who are definitely being over dramatic about their time--there's no way it's as bad as people are making it out to sound."  I was wrong and they were right.  I've never felt more harassed and less safe than in Marrakech.  I spent only three days there, but I can say that this was the first time I've been abroad and been happy to leave.

    There were, for me, three levels of harassment.  As others have mentioned, the sellers in the souks will pester you to buy things.  This is a mild annoyance--and actually an understandable necessity to make money.  It's not a big deal.  If you say no, they back off. 

    The second level of harassment comes from men trying to lead you around/give you directions for money.  No matter what people on this board have experienced, I found that no amount of "NO!" turned some of these men away.  If you look around for even a brief moment (trying to get your bearings or to figure out what street you're on, or look at a map) you'll find yourself harangued by a man trying to show you where to go.  At its worst, I had a man grab my arm and not let go despite my protestations.  (I'm not a shrinking violet, and I was quite clear that I wanted him to let go of me.)  The only thing that shook him was me raising my voice (and the critical looks from everyone on the street as a result).  And although he let go of my arm, he wouldn't stop following me.  I ducked into a store... he was there when I came out.  I tried to lose him in the souks, but he kept finding me.  Suddenly, I realized that I would be able to get on with my day if I simply agreed to let him take me to the destination.  (La Maison de la Photographie, which shouldn't be missed, btw.)

    He led me down alleyway after alleyway, into areas clearly not usually traversed by travelers.  I was getting worried because I knew the Maison was only a few hundred feet away from where I started.  Twenty minutes later we finally got there.  I pulled out a 20 dirham bill and handed it to him.  I don't really care whether or not he deserved more, I was angry that he basically bullied me into it.  Then he started to demand 50 dirhams and grabbed my arm again, firmly.  This time I plied his hand off of me with force and ran into the Maison.  He didn't follow, but again I worried he'd be waiting for me when I got out.  I spent a long three or four hours there (don't miss the rooftop cafe!  A perfect way to see the city!) before I left. 

    While I don't think I was in any real danger, it certainly FEELS that way at the time.  When men don't take no for an answer, it can feel very intimidating.

    The third level of harassment--overt sexual harassment--is the worst.  There isn't much time I wasn't being approached by a man. Sometimes it was innocent.  ("I love you.  I want to get to know you.") But most of the time, men wouldn't take a firm "no" for an answer.  Sometimes it was insistent. I had one man follow me through crowded streets for about 20 minutes.  Each time I thought I had ditched him, he would appear again and say, "Baby, I just want to talk to you."  He didn't leave me alone until I started walking towards a police station.  Other times, men would be very much and quite literally in your face.  I had several "offers" from men who wanted to "f$ck me."  They would stand in front of me or impede my ability to walk around them.

    At it's worst, I had a man grab my arm (again!) and start to tell me how large he was, gesturing inappropriately and using the vernacular.  When I tried to get away from him he stood in front of me and said, in a really threatening tone, "What's the matter?  Don't you like sex?"  At this point I started to worry.  (By the way this was at high noon, not in the middle of the night.)  Again, at home I would have had a lot of different ways of handling this, but here I was scared of making a case, of breaching local standards in a way that would have only escalated the problem.

    I tried to get his hand off me and told him no, I wasn't interested, several times, but he wouldn't hear of it.  He kept telling me how he would f$ck me while corralling me closer and closer to the wall.  So, again, I raised my voice so that lots of people in the area would look and only then did he let me pass by.  But I basically walked as fast as I could to my riad after that, looking over my shoulder the entire way.

    Don't let people convince you that men in Marrakech will take no for an answer.

    So, how to manage it if you're dead set on going to Morocco?  First, I was prideful in my decision not to wear a headscarf.  In hindsight, I should have, if only because I would have gotten to see more of the city because it would have taken me much less time to get from point A to point B without the harassment in its various forms.  Next, be sure to stay in a reputable, safe riad.  This will be your oasis should you get overwhelmed.  Third, assume that everyone has an agenda, even if it isn't readily apparent what that agenda may be. 

    For example, I heard several times Moroccans telling travelers that this or that destination was closed for the day, even though I had just been to that destination and it was definitely open for business.  At first, I couldn't figure out why they'd lie about this.  Then I realized they'd redirect travelers back to the souks. 

    I guess in the end, I think that I really wasn't in serious danger, but the level of intimidation makes it feel that way.  You must be prepared to endure that intimidation.  As a solo traveler, it's a lot to take on your own without someone to at least defuse some of the emotions you might feel about it.

    It's a beautiful country, and I'm sure there are many good Moroccans just trying to live their lives in peace, but a single woman will be a target for men's attention, so be prepared. 

  • Single woman is always and enywhere target. I have been navigated long time ago on merchant ships all over the world. Anywhere I was going out alone when my shift  was over. In Africa sometimes workers in the port were shouting something tome but I never pay any attention on that. I never had any problem any where ( and I have been in Angola, Ivory Coast, Cameron, Liberia, Gabon, Congo and many others) and only once I had problem with men's and it was in my own country. Maroco is an modern and ineresting country and if you search for trouble you will find it any where. Even in Sweeden :).
  • Ya of course possible don't worry about that .we just went from there and again planing to go Nepal .
  • In Marrakech if you want to walk into the Medina, you should have an official guide with .
  • I disagree with the last post.
    You do not need a guide to walk into the medina. Although it is a very large and sprawling place you will see so much more going it alone. You most certainly wil get lost but there are many exits and entrances which encirle the main square.
    It is more fun shall we say to get lost as you will see many things which no guide will show you.
    Th role of a guide is to show you only some of the notable sites and then take you into one of his extended family's shops, namely herbalists and carpet sellers. These are what is termed "rip-off merchants" who will over charge you on anything you buy. There is a saying that the guide will "look after you" by negotiating with a seller on your behalf. As you will not know what they are saying to each other you cannot be certain that he is looking after your best interests, especially as he will be speaking (more than likely) to one of his relatives.
    Going it alone gives you the chance to see what is available, compare prices, compare quality and more importantly to haggle and agree your own price for an object.
  • hi every one  I'm a moroccan guy and I'm here to refix some people's doubts about us or about people that I at least know ...I was jusst surfing in the inernet when I found this I've read a lot of cmments _not all of them_ I must thank the majority of them they mentioned my land so pleasantly .
    According to the place that I work in I meet a lot of tourists from various contries ( they do that strategy of smile and walk )we know it all ....acctually  none's gonna talk to you if you didn't we are helpful you can ask anyone if you were lost and he's gonna give you all his time  not because he looks for a VISA  or your money but because we know deeply inside that we are humans and we need each other help....you can dress whatever you want that's your besiness but I ask u to respect my relegion that a lot of Moroccans themselves don't do. there is no safe place or unsafe place even Morocan girls can be harassed if it's too late at night - the same anywhere in the world-- it's all safe ..
    Real facts .the Morocan response for a tourist being insulted or assaulted is tougher and they will bring you the crimminal as soon as they can....we don't get the same when we are assaulted or ........
    We are not Arabs ..the 70 per cent of us are berbers as I 
    an australian woman has commented negatively on the Berbers and I was really offended by that but it's obvious that she doesn't know us and she has never met any one of my people... may Allah forgive her .
    if there is anyone well treated in Morocco by the Autorities they would be tourists. take care .
  • edited September 2013
    Morocco is much safe for everyone, I am also a female, and like to share my very last four days morocco holidays tour that is start from Marrakech and ends in Fez my brother also was with me. We start it on 13th, Aug this year from Marrakech and end of first day in  Ouarzazate, and next day morning we move from Ouarzazate and day off in Gorges du Todra, we stay there and start continue next day from Gorges du Todra to Merzouga Dunes, 4th days our tour we start from Merzouga Dunes to Fez. It was very nice and well planed tour ever travelled by me.
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