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Moroccan woman denounces the requirement of a “mahrem” to go to Jordan

Written by FDM

The concept of ‘Mahrem’ or ‘male guardian’ is, apparently, not exclusive to Saudi Arabia.  It is the bitter discovery of Mounia Semlali, head of the gender justice program of the NGO Oxfam in Morocco, who launched a real rant, Friday, January 18, on her Facebook account, after applying for a visa to Jordan.

Mounia Semlali, head of the gender justice program of the NGO Oxfam in Morocco, did not think that her visa application for Jordan would have taken such a turn. Yet, the 28-year-old had visited the country twice. Her application for authorization to enter the territory was passed as a letter to the post office …. until the famous day of January 18, 2019.

Indeed, when Mounia Semlali went the embassy of Jordan in Rabat, she learned that her visa application was simply refused. She was confused since she has to travel to Jordan to participate in a training organized by her employer. The reason ? ” To visit Jordan as a Moroccan woman between the ages of 18 and 35, you need to be accompanied by a” mahrem “like Saudi Arabia! , she denounces in a long comment posted on her Facebook account. You can go without “mahrem” if you are invited as part of an activity, but you obviously need an invitation from an institution in Jordan .

Coup de gueule et appel à mes ami(e)s journalistes !Pour pouvoir visiter la Jordanie en tant que femme marocaine âgée…

Publiée par Mounia Semlali sur Vendredi 18 janvier 2019

According to Mounia, the obligation of a ‘mahrem’ is only restricted to Moroccan women between 18 and 35 years-old. “Why Moroccans in particular ?” questions Mounia in her post.  “Why put everyone in the same basket! We are not all prostitutes! And then, the rule must apply to all countries of the world!”

Mounia Semlali asked to meet Jordan’s ambassador in Rabat to “discuss with him this issue of discrimination against women in my country, ” she says. To be continued !