Policy Center presents the book “Female leadership in Morocco, between visibility and invisibility”

The Moroccan think tank Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) presented a book dedicated to female leadership in Morocco, entitled “Female leadership in Morocco, between visibility and invisibility”.

This book, edited by Senior Fellow, Nouzha Chekrouni, former Minister for the Status of Women and former Ambassador of Morocco to Canada, manifests an observation, but also an intention, that of making visible the progress made over the past 20 years, while pointing without complacency the factors of resistance, through “ of shared perspectives between men and women, between generations and between disciplines”.

“Female leadership in Morocco, between visibility and invisibility”written by 16 authors including 10 women, presents a rich and varied analysis in its approaches, which range from case studies on the circular migration of strawberry pickers in Spain to testimonies of women, through academic analyzes signed by academics renowned.

The report is structured in three parts, one on “A society on the move? Changes, resistances and reconfiguration”, the second on “Real or supposed inequalities: after reform of the Family Code”, and the third on “Actors present: space, issues of representativeness and collective action”.

Law, history, society, religion: a multidisciplinary approach

The richness of the contributions distinguishes the report, with for example the constitutionalist Nadia Bernoussi, who offers a critical X-ray of the difficulty of applying in practice the new Constitution of 2011, which enshrines the principle of parity and equality. She clearly identifies the reason: Certainly, tangible achievements have been constitutionalized. However, faithful to an identity reflex, some of these “universalist” dispositions have been relativized by the use of culturalist temperaments”.

Jaafar Ben El Haj Soulami, professor at Abdelmalek Essaadi University, looks back on the forgotten women of power in the history of Morocco, with the historical figure of the “Noble Lady” who was the governor of Tetouan from 1525 to 1542.

For his part, Farid el Asri, Director of the Center for Global Studies at the International University of Rabat, sifts through the perceptions around women in Islam, with a look at the religious text and a historical and sociological dimension.

“The inaccuracies inhabit a gaze (Muslim or not) charged with incensing panegyrics or entryist protectionism with regard to the other sex. (…) It is understood that the women in question are not absent, passive or silent in societies on the move. They are subjects of their stories, which they write in the first person.he wrote.

Rapid and notable advances in the public sector

Driven by a strong political will, reforms have followed one another for 20 years, with results in the public sector. While girls are in school, women now represent more than a third of the workforce in the civil service, and present in the highest spheres of the State.

As Abdelhak Bassou reminds us, Morocco has 7 women ministers out of 24, i.e. 30% since 2021, compared to only 4 in the previous government.

In addition, the number of women in Parliament has increased significantly, increasing between 2011 and 2021 from 67 to 96 MPs out of a total of 395 seats – ie 24% of the people’s representatives today. This places Morocco 98th in the world out of 187 in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ranking.

Nouzha Chekrouni

Societal resistance and the Moroccan paradox

The report also deals with societal resistance, linked “to backward-looking interpretations“explains Nouzha Chekrouni, referring to the difficulty of applying article 49 of the Moudawana, on the separation of property during divorce, as analyzed by the economist and Senior Fellow, Larabi Jaïdi.

For her part, Nasma Jrondi, an expert in sustainable development, wonders in a chapter entitled “What is the place of female leadership in a society governed by male codes? “. It deals with a Moroccan paradox, which sees a majority of young women enrolled in the country’s universities, but a declining labor market participation rate.

“The rate of feminization of employed workers in 2020 is 21.5%, compared to 26.7% in 2010 and 27.1% in 2000 (HCP, 2021). This means that not only is the activity rate of women falling from year to year, but that this decline is accelerating. Which is sad for a developing country that needs all its vital forces to develop,” she explains.



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