By Majid Morceli
By Majid Morceli
San Francisco – If you are a Moroccan woman, The Global Gender Gap Report 2014 will make you want to sob. According to the report, Moroccan women are ranked 133 out of 142 countries in terms of equality. To put it into perspective, Moroccan women are doing a little better than women from Chad (140), but worse than women from Guinea (132).
What is more upsetting is that the status of Moroccan women has actually gotten much worse in the last nine years. Since 2005, Morocco’s rank dropped from 106 to 133. The report indicated that Morocco is among five countries with the highest absolute and relative decrease on the Economic Participation and Opportunity subindex over the past nine years. In 2014, Morocco continued to be one of the twenty lowest-performing countries on the Literacy rate indicator.
I am not sure if decision-makers in Morocco even know this report exists. Reading the report should make them pause.
Moroccan women are the backbone of the family structure around which Moroccan society is based. With these horrific rankings, how can we ever expect to see Morocco make any social progress?
Ten years ago, the king of Morocco asked, “How can society achieve progress while women, who represent half the nation, see their rights violated and suffer as a result of injustice, violence, and marginalization?”
What happened 10 years later? Moroccan women fair much worse in a society dominated by men, even though the constitution grants them equal social, economic, political, and environmental rights, as well as equal civil rights. The Moroccan government is just another example why women are not doing well. Only two women are Ministers and four others hold junior positions, and we hardly hear a thing about them or what they do.
The question that begs itself is: who is at fault here, if anyone? What should be done about this crisis? Or are we just going to look the other way and pretend that Moroccan women are fine and right where they should be.
It is certainly not money at the root of the problem. Many poor countries, such as Burundi and Vietnam, are doing much a better job emancipating their women.
Is it definitely not religion. Morocco is a somewhat secular country, and women enjoy more freedom than women in many other countries that are ranked higher.
It is not the culture, either. Moroccans feel very proud when they see their women succeed. Mbarka Bouaida, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, comes to mind. We need more women in her capacity.
What is lacking in Morocco is the will of those in charge to give women a chance. Moroccan women themselves need to start asking for their rights. They cannot wait for men to do it for them. It will take time, of course, but they should do it for the next generation of women and for their country.
What is the Moroccan media doing to educate the masses? How about those so-called Women organizations that are mushrooming in Morocco? How about those 17% of women – 66 of them – who were elected to the Parliament? Is anyone doing anything to change this sad outcome?
132 countries are doing better when it comes to women. If these statistics do not make Moroccans want to run and hide, I don’t know what will.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.