Rabat – Disparities between women and men in Morocco continue. 29.2 percent of girls aged between the ages 15 and 24 have already had their first marriage, compared with only 3.8 percent of their male counterparts, the High Commission for Planning (HCP) revealed on October 12 in celebration of Girls International Day.
32.1 percent of those married already have at least one child.
Though the number of minors married before the age of 18 has decreased by 12.8 percent over the last decade, from 55,379 in 2004 to 48,291 in 2014, girls remain the 94.8 percent of the total married minors.
Out of those not married, 87.7 percentare housewives.
In 2014, girls accounted for almost 49.1 percent of the population under the age of 19. At the tender age of three, girls begin experiencing discrepancies due to their gender and the stigmas attached to it. The rate of girls between age 3 and 5 who have not attended pre-schooling institutions was at 10.5 percent in 2014, while for boys, the rate dropped to 6.3 percent.
In rural areas, the inequalities are further accented. One girl out of 10 between the ages of 7 and 12 does not have any schooling.
14.8 percent of young women aged between 15 and 24 are illiterate, double the rate of illiteracy among men of the same age.
Out of every one hundred girls aged between 15 and 17 in Morocco, about 30girls neither work, attend school, nor attendany training, compared with only 5.1 percent of boys.
Inequalities in schooling consequently lead to disparities in the labor market. In 2014, the participation rate for men in the labor market was at75.5 percent, compared to 20.4 percent for women.
The participation rate for young people aged 15 to 24 is 52.6 percent for young men, compared with 17.9 percent for young women.
The report added that 69,000 children between the ages of 7 and 15 are on the labor market, 39.9 percent of whom are girls and 65 percent of whom are out of school.
Naturally, women spend seven times more time on domestic activities than men and girls aged 7 to 14, and 3.4 more times as boys.
HCP: But Let’s Not Be Too Negative
In a previous report released in July, the HCP showed that in the 1960s, the rate of Moroccan women who were able to read and write was only 4 percent. This percentage rose to 57.9 percent in 2014, demonstrating an increase of female literacy in the kingdom.
Due to improving education levels among women, the HCP indicatedthat female participation in the job market in Morocco had increased. The rate of working women grew from around 17 percent in 1982 to 25.1 percent in 2014.
A rise in women’s access to education and presence in the job market has led to an increased use of contraception, thus lowering the birth rate in Morocco and decreasing the risk of disease and death for both mothers and infants.