By Hajare El Khaldi
Rabat- Seven out of ten women are unemployed in Morocco, most of which are housewives, two-thirds of are non degree holders, and over a million are fit to join the workplace.
Ten million women remain outside the labor market in Morocco, with a participation rate of 22.4 percent, compared to the 45 percent in other emerging countries, according to Moroccan francophone newspaper L’Economiste, in its April 2 edition.
L’Economiste compared the North African country to Turkey, where women’s employment increased from 20 percent in 2000, to 30 percent in 2014.
The World Bank, as quoted by L’Economiste, considers women’s employability to be a key challenge necessary for Morocco’s economic take-off.
Unemployment among women is highly influenced by traditional social norms, which limit women’s participation to the private sphere. Over three-quarters of unemployed Moroccan women are housewives, and while one in five of them do not join the workplace by choice, 8 percent are forced to stay at home by their husbands.
Unemployment also affects unmarried women, as it reaches 45.7 percent of divorced women, 38.9 percent for widows, and 17.9 percent of single women.
Two-thirds of Moroccan women do not hold an academic degree, which makes it even more difficult for them to find jobs.
However, an important number of women predisposed to work remain unemployed. At least one woman in 10 inactive women, is a diploma holder. “This represents a population of 1.1 million people.”
Women’s participation “would improve the national activity rate by 4.3 points, and that of women by 8.5 points,” states the article.
Women seeking employment are mostly women under 30 years of age, followed by women aged between 30 and 44 years old.
Gender-based discrimination follows Moroccan women to the workplace, as shown by the World Bank’s 2018 “Women, Business and the Law” report, published on March 29.
In this report, which studies the economies of 189 countries, Morocco scored between 40 and 91 out of 100 on seven indicators, namely access to institutions (91/ 100), the enjoyment of property (40/100), access to employment (67/100), work incentives for women (60/100), access to justice (75/100 ), access to credit (50/100), and the women’s protection from violence (70/100).