Rabat – Out of 7,333,806 households surveyed in Morocco in 2014, 1,186,901 are headed by women, or nearly one in six households at a rate of 16.2 percent, revealed the High Commission for Planning (HCP) in a report published on October 10.
The HCP noted that this figure has remained stable compared to surveys from 2004.
The rate of women heading households is higher in urban areas, at 18.6 percent, or 896,091 households, than in rural areas, at 11.6 percent, or 290,810 households.
The Guelmim-Oued Noun region has the highest rate of female heads of household than the national average, at 18.7 percent or 16,838 households.
Béni Mellal-Khénifra region with 18 percent or 93,389 households followed by Casablanca-Settat at 17.4 percent, or 271,463 households, and Rabat-Salé-Kenitra at 17.3 percent, or 176,052 households.
Meanwhile, in Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra 15.1 percent of women serve as the head of their households, while Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima falls at the same rate of 15 percent and Marrakech-Safi at 13.6 percent.
The HCP indicates that households headed by women are smaller than those headed by men, at an average of 3.4 people compared to 4.8.
One in five female household heads live alone, at a 20.9 percent rate or 248,005 women, compared with 4.6 percent, or 279,226, of male heads of household.
Half of the female heads of households, or 51 percent, are over 54 years old, compared to one-third 34 percent of their counterparts.
Female heads from widowed households accounted for 654,647 or 55 percent, divorced women for 14 percent, or 170,265 of the women at the top of their households’ hierarchy, compared to 1 percent (55,424) of divorced men and 1 percent (65,122) of widowed men.
The report also indicates that an overwhelming 65 percent of female heads of households are illiterate, almost double their male counterparts, which falls at around 34 percent.
While 88 percent of women heading their households live in rural areas, 67 percent of them have no formal education compared to 35 percent of men. This category of women is poorly integrated into the labor market, with a participation rate of 30 percent against 81 percent among men.
Female heads of households occupy dwellings with fewer rooms than those occupied by male-headed households, as 39.4 percent of female-headed households, or 468,042 households, occupied one- or two-room houses in 2014 while only 13.4 percent of the women live in houses with five or more rooms.
Female-headed households have fewer basic facilities than households headed by men. 91.4 percent of these households have a kitchen, compared with 94 percent among male-headed households.
The report concludes that 90.3 per cent of female-headed households own a mobile phone, compared to 95.1 percent of male-headed households. 21.9 percent of female heads of households use a computer compared with 26.1 percent of male-headed households.