Closing Morocco's Gender Gap

USAID actively promotes female participants as role models through social media, videos and success stories that include women in non-traditional roles.
USAID actively promotes female participants as role models through social media, videos and success stories that include women in non-traditional roles.
Bobby Neptune for USAID

GENDER EQUALITY IN MOROCCO

Though Morocco has made significant advancements in women’s rights since King Mohammed VI’s ascension to the throne in 1999, it still ranks 137 out of 144 countries according to the 2016 World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report and fares worse on women’s economic participation and opportunity, ranking 139 out of 144 countries. Morocco’s 2011 constitutional reforms included several proposals to increase women’s political and economic participation. Despite these pronouncements, women remain underrepresented in elected office and in managerial positions (both in the public and private sectors), leave school at younger ages than male students, and continue to be an underutilized economic resource in Morocco.

USAID RESPONSE

USAID addresses gender as a cross cutting issue with a focus on increasing women’s political and economic inclusion in Morocco. Nearly every activity under the current strategy has a plan to address gender issues and ensure equitable access to services and economic opportunities.

Youth, Education, & Employability

USAID works to address underlying causes of instability in Morocco by providing positive opportunities for youth with a focus on marginalized groups, such as women, who make up a mere 23 percent of the labor market.

Career Center works to reduce women’s barriers to accessing employment opportunities by designing and delivering work readiness training and career counseling services. It also contributes to changing norms and beliefs in order to encourage both men and women to work in sectors or positions that are not traditionally filled by their gender. Career Center fosters collaboration with host-institutions such as universities and vocational training institutions, while recognizing the impact teachers and faculty members have on reinforcing positive role models for female students. Furthermore, Career Center continuously encourages their private sector partners to adopt a gender balanced and inclusive approach in recruitment and staff training.

USAID’s Favorable Opportunities to Reinforce the Self Advancement of Today’s Youth (FORSATY) program seeks to provide positive opportunities for extremely vulnerable youth in the north of Morocco. In this highly-conservative region, traditional norms often deny women the ability to be autonomous, educated, and actively participate in public life. FORSATY is partnering with local community actors to tackle deep-rooted gender issues to encourage greater female participation in school, the workforce, and extra-curricular activities.

A USAID-Volvo Public Private Partnership has established a state-of-the-art vocational training center for the repair and maintenance of heavy equipment and commercial trucks. This activity seeks to increase female participation through special recruitment practices, including developing female- targeted promotional materials and making training facilities more female friendly by providing separate sanitary facilities and changing rooms.

The National Program for Reading (NPR) promotes gender equality by organizing focus groups to solicit feedback from women in the teaching force to promote participation and address factors keeping them out of leadership. It also offers professional development coaching for women and works to develop policy actions that reduce stigma for female teachers.

Youth, Civil Society & Governance

As a part of the Building Responsive and Representative Political Parties Project, USAID provided training and technical assistance to female parliamentary candidates and elected officials to conduct effective electoral campaigns. This activity also provided financial and technical assistance to two Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to conduct awareness campaigns focusing on the importance of electing female candidates. 

USAID provides direct grants and sub-grants to a number of women’s organizations. The Civil Society Strengthening Program (CSSP) recently conducted an analysis that identified a number of barriers and gender issues, including the tendency to confine gender issues only to women’s groups. CSSP is working with civil society groups to develop indicators that capture gender imbalances and social exclusion so that CSOs can better perform advocacy and watchdog roles on gender issues.

USAID also established and supports Entities for Parity, Equal Opportunities and Gender Approach in five communes. These entities are consultative bodies made up of civil society and private sector representatives whose role is to advise the communal council on issues related to equal opportunity and gender mainstreaming.

USAID actively promotes female participants as role models through social media, videos and success stories that include women in non-traditional roles.

 

 

Last updated: June 26, 2018

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