Gender inequality in Morocco persists as gaps in political empowerment, economic participation, and opportunity are becoming more evident, even though men and women are relatively equal in educational achievement, according to a recent survey issued by Afrobarometer on Thursday 21, 2023.
Educational achievement in Morocco seems to be relatively equal between both women and men, with similar percentages having post-secondary (33% vs. 35%), secondary education (19% vs. 18%), and no formal schooling (16% vs. 14%). Luckily, access to primary education is equal for both gender groups.
However, when it comes to key asset ownership such as mobile phones, television, bank accounts, radio, computers, and motor vehicles, gender disparities become evident.
The study showcased that men, compared to women, are more likely to own motor vehicles (57% vs. 24%), bank accounts (65% vs. 42%), televisions (84% vs. 68%), and radios (57% vs. 41%).
Unfortunately, findings revealed that while women have less decision-making power in regard to household finances, men are three times more likely to make financial decisions independently (15% vs. 46%).
Findings also suggested that there are significant gender disparities in access to job opportunities and land ownership in Morocco.
Only 42% of Moroccans endorse equal rights to own and inherit the land, with women, economically well-off residents, and urban dwellers more likely to support equality in land ownership.
Inequality in workplace opportunities and pay is the top women’s rights concern (32% for women and 20% for men) for Moroccans, even more so for women themselves, followed by gender violence.
The findings also indicated that women’s participation in political leadership is a critical aspect of gender equality. 62% of Moroccan citizens believe that women should have the same opportunity as men to be elected to public office, refusing the notion that males are better political leaders.
However, while the majority of the respondents (87%) believe that a woman and her family would be respected in the community if she is elected to office, 46% think that she may face criticism, name-calling, or harassment. In addition, 35% of citizens believe that she may encounter problems with her family.
Approximately 63% of Moroccan citizens approve of the government’s effort to promote equal rights and opportunities for women. However, women informants seemed to be less satisfied with the situation, with 57% approval compared to 69% among male informants.
The same study revealed that there are disparities based on the urban-rural divide, economic well-being, and education level, with the benefits of growing gender equality not reaching less educated, rural, and poorer populations.
While men believe that the government is already making enough efforts to promote gender equality, women tend to disconfirm.
In this regard, the Ministry of Digital Transition and Administration Reform in Morocco revealed progress made in promoting women’s participation in public service across various institutions and departments until the close of 2022.
Minister Ghita Mezzour shed light on a remarkable positive shift in the feminization of leadership positions. This rate increased from 16.21 percent in 2012 to 28.17 percent in 2022.
Ever since the launching of the initiatives to shrink gender disparities in October 2010, several strategies have been successfully implemented, with the aim of institutionalizing gender equality within the public workforce.
Now, women make up 41.22% of the nation’s total human resources, and the training rate for women stands at an impressive 85.44%.
According to a research paper from Modern Diplomacy, Morocco has made progress in women’s rights, particularly in urban areas where access to education and employment opportunities has improved.
The report applauded Morocco for the positive progress in legal reforms aimed at improving women’s rights. These reforms include the introduction of laws to address violence and discrimination against women, enhance their status, and improve their access to basic rights.