In the latest issue of its publication, the “Briefs du Plan”, entitled “ Preference relating to the sex of the child in Morocco: Desire for a balanced distribution and leaning towards female descent ” THE High Commission for Planning (HCP) revealed that more than half of Moroccan women do not declare a preference between boys and girls in children. However there is a greater tendency to prefer girls, contrary to the past notes the study.
This note tells us the HCP, wants to be an investigation on the preferences as regards the sex of the child at the married Moroccan women which tries to know if those wishing to have a first child or an additional child continue to prefer the male lineage, or if that has changed. This study uses data from the National Survey of Mother and Child Health (ENSME) 1997 and that of Population and Family Health (ENPSF) 2018.
That said, the HCP indicates that in Morocco, as in Arab and Muslim countries, the preference for male children had always dominated. This in view of the historical traditions and values associated with the role of boys in supporting the family financially and perpetuating the family line (continuation of its name). With the development of education and the empowerment of women and the improvement of social and economic conditions, signs of change have appeared in this preference.
The study concluded that Moroccan women are now more willing to have daughters, which has led to changes in attitudes and behavior related to child sex in Morocco. According to the figures included in the study, 54.4% of women in 2018 declared no choice between genders, while 26.4% of them preferred girls and 19.2% boys. While in 1997, the percentage was around 49% as to “neutrality” so to speak and 25% of women were in favor of girls against 26% for boys.
The percentage of women in rural areas who prefer boys was 26.4% in 1997, but this figure fell to 19.5% in 2018. And this upward trend for the opposite gender is confirmed since the percentage rate of this option for women in rural areas increased from 20.9% in 1997 to 23.3% in 2018. This is also the case in urban areas where 44.6% of married women surveyed did not express an opinion in 1997, compared to 52.2% in 2018. The male side is also down sharply from 25.6% to 19%. The girls in this little game, although inaccessible, still lost a point, going from 29.8% to 28.8%.
In this context and whatever it may be, it is difficult to generalize and to affirm that there is an absence of preference in terms of the sex of the child, we can only rely on the silent majority if we dares and who carries the half-couffin. It must also be said that in the Kingdom, attitudes and practices vary from one region to another, depending on levels of education, cultural traditions and socio-economic backgrounds, hence this subtitle of the most significant studyDesire for balanced distribution and leaning towards female descent” that its authors, Nassira El Idrissi, Abderrahman Yassine, from the Department of Demographic Determinants, (CERED – HCP) wanted to give it.